Putin begins his fourth term as Russia’s president
5 September 2018
On Monday, May 7, Vladimir Putin was inaugurated for his fourth term as president of Russia. His presidency will be shaped by growing encirclement and pressure by US imperialism and by social struggles at home as the new government prepares to launch far-reaching attacks on the working class.
A pompous inauguration ceremony on Monday was preceded on Saturday by mass arrests of anti-Putin protesters, including supporters of the nationalist, right-wing, pro-Western opposition politician Alexei Navalny. More than 1,600 people were arrested, including Navalny himself. He was released on Sunday. Putin was reelected in the presidential elections of March 18 with over 76 percent of the vote. He is set to remain president until 2024.
In his inaugural speech, Putin, echoed his last address on the state of the nation, combining the whipping up of nationalism with phony promises of social reforms and an announcement of far-reaching economic changes.
Putin began his inaugural speech by saying that he acknowledged “the responsibility before you,…before Russia, a country of grandiose victories and achievements” and “before the 1,000-year-old history of Russian statehood.” He declared his commitment to a “holy relationship toward our native soil” and stated: “I consider it the goal and sense of my entire life to do everything for Russia.” He went on praising the Russian Constitution which was passed 25 years ago, in 1993, to solidify the new capitalist property relations that had been introduced by the Stalinist bureaucracy with its dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Putin argued that the past quarter century had shown that “all beauty and power lies in our autonomy [samobytnost’]…