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Isolated From West, Putin Projects Domestic Power at Inauguration

WorldIsolated From West, Putin Projects Domestic Power at Inauguration

Vladimir V. Putin was inaugurated for a fifth term as president on Tuesday in a ceremony filled with pageantry and a televised church service, as the Russian leader tried once more to depict his invasion of Ukraine as a religiously righteous mission that is part of “our 1,000-year history.”

Mr. Putin took the presidential oath — swearing to “respect and safeguard the rights and freedoms of man and citizen” — with his hand on a red-bound copy of Russia’s Constitution, the 1993 document that guarantees many of the democratic rights that he has spent much of his 25-year rule rolling back.

Mr. Putin was re-elected in March in a rubber-stamp contest that Western nations dismissed as a sham. If he serves the full six years of his new term, he will become the longest-serving Russian leader since Empress Catherine the Great in the 18th century.

“Together, we will be victorious!” Mr. Putin said at the end of a speech after he took the oath in the Kremlin’s gilded St. Andrew’s Hall.

The ceremony was replete with pomp: An honor guard marched ahead of Mr. Putin. Elaborate chandeliers hung overhead and supporters stood behind a velvet rope applauding as the Russian leader strode to the stage. Outside, a heavy snow fell, unusual in May, even for Moscow.

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