Vladimir Putin is back in the role of Russian president after being sworn in at a lavish ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow.
The 59-year-old – who won a third term in national elections last month – took the oath in front of more than 2000 guests, before being blessed by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Putin stepped into the role of prime minister four years ago as Russia’s constitution forbids more than two consecutive terms as president. But while Dmitry Medvedev became head of state, commentators say Putin always remained as Russia’s supreme leader.
The arrangement and accusations of widespread fraud in parliamentary elections have inspired several large protests in recent months as activists demand greater electoral reform.