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Putin Promises Russian ‘Might’ and ‘Glory’ as He Begins 4th Term

Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed Monday to uphold the “glory of Russia” at his fourth inauguration ceremony, less than two days after hundreds of demonstrators were detained during nationwide protests against his rule. In a midday ceremony at the Kremlin attended by former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and America’s D-list action star Steven Seagal, Putin said he would “do everything in my power to increase the might” of the country and boost military capabilities. In a speech focusing primarily on domestic issues, he urged Russians to unite against “new challenges” amid rising tensions with the West. “Over its more than thousand-year history, Russia has repeatedly faced times of troubles and trials and has always been reborn like a phoenix,” he said. Putin won his fourth term in March elections that critics say gave him a landslide victory only with the help of rampant vote-rigging. At 65, he has been in power as president or prime minister since 1999, having become Russia’s longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin.