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Russia's Putin inaugurated for fourth term in office

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By Philip Andrew Churm

Russia’s Vladimir Putin was sworn in as president on Monday for a fourth term, extending his power for another six years.

He is already Moscow’s longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin.

The election of Putin as president comes as relations with the west are increasingly strained and the country has seen a crackdown on opposition groups.

Putin has been in power for 18 years during which time he has annexed Crimea from Ukraine and backed Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

On Saturday, opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was barred from challenging Putin in the election, called on Russians to stage a day of rallies across the country.

Navalny was arrested along with more than 1,600 protesters.