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Putin Begins Fifth Term Amid Ukraine War

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Russian President Vladimir Putin was inaugurated for his fifth term on Tuesday in a ceremony at the Kremlin’s Grand Kremlin Palace.

Under the watch of over 2,500 guests, Putin pledged to overcome challenges and lead Russia to victory as he was sworn in.

He said,

We are a united and great people, and together we will overcome all obstacles, realise all our plans, together we will win.

Since assuming office in 1999, Putin has led Russia through significant transformations but faces international isolation due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the resultant Western sanctions. His new term extends until 2030, marking him the longest-serving Kremlin leader since Josef Stalin.

The ceremony was marked by the absence of Western diplomats from the U.S., U.K., and Germany, reflecting strained relations due to the ongoing war.

However, a few of the European Union diplomats were present even though top EU diplomat Josep Borrell had advised member states against attending due to an arrest warrant issued against Putin by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, for war crimes related to the Ukraine conflict.

Nevertheless, in his address, Putin welcomed dialogue with the West but criticised their aggressive policies towards Russia.

The choice is theirs, he stated. Do they intend to continue trying to contain Russia, continue the policy of aggression, continuous pressure on our country for years, or look for a path to cooperation and peace?

The inauguration featured a traditional 30-gun salute after Putin’s speech. It also featured a blessing from Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Annunciation Cathedral church in Russia.

The Patriarch likened Putin to a historic Russian hero, Prince Alexander Nevsky, and acknowledged the heavy decisions required by his leadership, referring to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

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