News

    Putin Sworn In Amid Controversy Over Protest Violence

    Vladimir Putin was sworn in Monday as Russia’s president. But the highly choreographed ceremony in the Kremlin’s St. Andrew Hall was clouded by events in the Russian capital a day earlier, when police and protesters, during a large opposition demonstration, left dozens injured on both sides.

    With his right hand on the Russian constitution, Vladimir Putin swore that, in carrying out his duties as Russia’s president, he would “respect and safeguard” rights and freedoms, observe and protect the country’s constitution, protect its sovereignty, independence, security and integrity, and “faithfully serve the people.”

    Earlier Monday, Russia’s outgoing president, Dmitry Medvedev, addressed the nearly 3,000 Russian and foreign dignitaries who attended the Kremlin swearing-in ceremony. Back in 2008, near the end of his second presidential term, Mr. Putin picked Mr. Medvedev to be his successor. Mr. Medvedev then picked Mr. Putin to be his prime minister.

    Medvedev said Monday that the “large-scale” political, economic and social reforms which he said he and Putin had carried out need to be continued.

    Only through such reforms, Medvedev said, will Russia be a 'powerful democratic state' where law and social justice reign. He said that as president, he had worked “openly and honestly” to achieve such goals, and while not all of them were reached, such efforts must continue.

    In a brief address after being sworn in Monday, Putin said Russia would achieve its goals only if it strengthened democracy and constitutional rights and freedoms.

    Yet some observers see a disconnect between those stated goals and past practice. It was Putin’s announcement last September that he would again run for president and make Medvedev his prime minister, which both outraged and energized Russia’s political opposition.

    Widespread reports of fraud in last December’s parliamentary elections and presidential elections in March only served to heighten tensions.

    Those tensions turned violent Sunday, when opposition demonstrators clashed with police during a mass protest in Moscow. More than 400 people were arrested and scores of demonstrators and policemen were injured.

    Some analysts said Monday that the growing gulf between an uncompromising Kremlin and an increasingly radicalized opposition will lead to further violence.

    Lilia Shevtsova, a political analyst with the Carnegie Moscow Center, predicts that Putin will increasingly resort to “repressive mechanisms.”

    “He will never give any concessions, neither to the opposition nor to the protesters’ movement, because the only concession the society, civil society, is expecting from him, is competition -- fair competition -- and rule of law. That means new elections, and one can guess that if the election is really fair, Putin has no guarantees to win the elections,” Shevtsova said.

    Following Monday’s inauguration, Vladimir Putin submitted Dmitry Medvedev’s candidacy for the post of prime minister to the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, for consideration.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: dictator hater
    May 07, 2012 9:38 AM
    he'll take a fourth and a fifth also and after the next 6 years he'll have the term stretched to 8 years.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.