UK & World News
Putin Sworn In For Six Years As Russia's Leader
Vladimir Putin has been sworn in as Russia's president once again, for a six-year term.
The former KGB agent has spent the last four years as the country's prime minister, alongside president Dmitry Medvedev, who has now been nominated for Mr Putin's old role in job swap first announced last year.
Mr Putin has already served two terms as Russia's president, first elected in 2000.
His inauguration follows opposition protests around the Kremlin - but numbers at the demonstrations were not as high as those for mass demos before the elections.
Around 120 people were arrested in a protest that took place as Mr Putin was sworn in.
Sunday's protest turned violent when police in riot gear beat back crowds trying to reach the Kremlin. More than 400 people were detained, including some opposition leaders.
As Mr Putin took office for his third term, he was handed the black suitcase that controls the country's vast nuclear arsenal.
The 'suitcase' is a portable communications device that uses a secret code called Cheget to allow the president to launch a nuclear attack on a foreign country.
Speaking moments after swearing an oath, Mr Putin said: "Today, we are entering a new stage of national development. We will have to decide tasks of a new level, a new quality and scale."
He added: "The coming years will be decisive for Russia's fate for decades to come and we must all understand that the life of future generations, the historical prospects of our state and our nation, today depend on us.
"We want to and will live in a successful Russia that is respected in the world as a reliable, open, honest and predictable partner," said the newly-inaugurated Kremlin chief.
Russia's future, he added, depends on "our efforts at saving people and supporting Russian families, our persistence in managing vast Russian territories from the Baltic to the Pacific Ocean, our ability to become leaders and the centre of gravity for the entire Eurasia".