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Date: 2018-05-07

Nineteen years since Vladimir Putin first became president, his grip on Russia is now stronger than ever.

Vladimir Putin was sworn in as Russia's president for a fourth term at a ceremony in the Kremlin on Monday, extending his almost two-decade rule by another six years.

"I consider it my duty and my life's aim to do everything possible for Russia, for its present and for its future," Putin said, with his hand on the Russian constitution.

Putin, in power since 1999, was predictably re-elected in Russia's March presidential election with 76.7% of the vote.

With his hand on a gold-embossed copy of the Russian constitution, Putin swore to serve the Russian people faithfully. He also hailed Moscow’s ability to stand up for its interests in the international arena, and what he called Russia’s traditional values.

His most dangerous opponent, Alexei Navalny, was barred from running in that vote, and on Saturday, Navalny and hundreds of his supporters were detained by police while protesting over Putin's new term under the slogan: "Putin is not our tsar."

The Russian constitution bars him from running again when his new terms end in 2024. However, the next six years will be the most challenging of Putin's time at the forefront of Russian politics.

He has managed to make Russia stable again and he restored its status on the world stage. Furthermore, his leadership has seen Russians enjoy greater prosperity than at any time in the country's history.

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