Putin Inaugurated in the Kremlin: Global Boycott Shadows Ceremony

Vladimir Putin has been officially re-inaugurated as the President of Russia and will continue to rule the country for another six years. The ceremony in the Kremlin was attended by a small number of high-ranking foreign dignitaries and guests

by Sededin Dedovic
Putin Inaugurated in the Kremlin: Global Boycott Shadows Ceremony
© Guardian News / YOutube channel

Vladimir Putin took the presidential oath at a solemn inauguration ceremony in the Grand Kremlin Palace, reports Russian RIA News Agency. "We alone will determine the destiny of Russia and ourselves, for the sake of present and future generations," he said in his inaugural address.

He added that for him, the interests and security of the Russian people would be above all. "We are a united and great nation; together we will overcome obstacles, implement our plans, and triumph." Politico writes that Vladimir Putin's inauguration is a "Groundhog Day," considering the 71-year-old leader's walk on the red carpet of the Grand Kremlin Palace amid pomp and applause for his fifth coronation as president.

Tradition and Russian law dictate that the swearing-in of a new president initiates a government reshuffle, which could shed light on Putin's state of mind before another six-year term. With the Russian war against Ukraine entering its third year, Putin shows no signs of wanting to deviate from his current path.

"The most important goal for Putin is to produce more weapons, keep the economy stable, protect it from sanctions, and target inflation," said Tatiana Stanovaya, founder of the political analysis firm R. Politik. "We should not expect a reassessment of that policy." However, the extent to which Putin revises the lineup of those responsible for implementing that agenda will provide insight into how willing he is to relinquish old habits to secure the future of his regime.

Traditionally, Putin has two models of governance, says Nikolai Petrov, a consultant at Chatham House. On one hand, he relies on the old guard of trusted friends and acquaintances, such as Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the latter of whom has held the position for two decades.

On the other hand, he relies on loyal technocrats like Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and the head of the Russian Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, to maintain the country's economy. But such a mode of operation seems increasingly unsustainable, given that some of Putin's most trusted aides are nearing or in their seventies.

This includes Lavrov (74) and Shoigu (68), as well as the top security hawks in the country, Alexander Bortnikov (72), Sergei Naryshkin (69), and Alexander Vastrikov (70). "It's time for Putin's generation to exit the stage, but their replacements aren't ready," Petrov said.

"The system faces a serious problem, and we'll see to what extent it can solve it or just procrastinate." "If Putin wants to maintain his system, he must change it," agreed political analyst Abbas Galyamov. He pointed to the recent shocking arrest of Deputy Defense Minister Timur Ivanov for bribery, widely seen as an attack on Shoigu, as a possible signal that Putin is ready to "shake the foundations of the system." This would be a significant departure from the old way of working—which allowed Shoigu to retain his position as chief defense minister despite slow progress in Ukraine and a scandalous attempt at rebellion by the head of the Wagner mercenaries, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

In recent years, the Kremlin has generally favored candidates thought to be easy to control rather than necessarily qualified for the job, attracting new recruits from Putin's former bodyguards or younger relatives of those in Putin's inner circle.

People cast mock ballots next to a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin that reads: Putin is a Killer at a protest out© Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Most States Absent from Inauguration

The United States and most European Union states will boycott today's inauguration ceremony of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who recently secured a new six-year term, reports Al Jazeera.

However, France and some other EU members are expected to send their envoys despite the official Kiev's request not to do so. The responses of diplomatic representatives of Western powers have shown their different positions on the inauguration of the Russian president, who launched an invasion of Ukraine just over two years ago.

"No, we will not have our envoys at the inauguration," said Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the U.S. State Department. "We do not consider elections in Russia to be free and fair, but Vladimir Putin remains the Russian president in the coming period." Canada also says it will skip the ceremony, scheduled just a day after Russia announced it would hold tactical exercises involving nuclear weapons to "cool heads in the West." Many other countries, including Germany, were absent.

Berlin considers attendance inappropriate given Russia's attack on Ukraine. "Germany will not participate in the event," confirmed a spokesperson for the German Foreign Ministry. The European Union also did not send its representatives to the ceremony in Moscow.

This was earlier announced by a spokesperson for the European External Action Service. High Representative Josep Borrell had previously expressed opposition to EU participation in Putin's inauguration. Vladimir Putin (71) has led Russia since the beginning of the millennium as president or prime minister. In March, he confirmed his fifth term in elections criticized for manipulation, with more than 87 percent of the vote.

Vladimir Putin Russia