The ceremony to inaugurate Vladimir Putin as President of Russia is taking place at the Kremlin in the Grand Kremlin Palace, which symbolizes the continuity of the traditions of Russian statehood.
This is Vladimir Putin’s second term in office. More than 71 percent of voters who took part in the election gave him their votes on March 14. Under the constitutional law on elections, the elected President takes office four years from the date of the previous President’s inauguration. Vladimir Putin first took the presidential oath on May 7, 2000. Fours years have passed since that date.
Announcer: The ceremony to inaugurate Vladimir Putin as President of Russia is now beginning. The national flag of the Russian Federation and the Presidential Standard are carried into the hall.
The ceremonial music played by the Presidential Orchestra is called the ”Welcoming March.“ The guards are servicemen from the first company of the Presidential Regiment. Aside from the usual parade uniform, they also have a historic uniform, the colors of which come from the Semenov and Preobrazhenskij Regiments of Peter the Great’s time. The uniforms’ cut and the shape of the shako date back to the Patriotic War of 1812.
Quite naturally that the two-headed eagle is much used in the decoration of the halls of the Grand Kremlin Palace. Russia inherited this symbol from Byzantium. The holy martyr St. George, shown on the coat of arms of Moscow and of Russia, is known from the times of ancient Rome. On the Russian state symbols, however, St. George faces the other way than in Western European heraldry. Russian state protocol reflects the spirit of various epochs and also Russia’s own unique traditions.
The Presidential Standard flies from the dome of the President’s residence. It will be officially raised to the accompaniment of the national anthem in just a few minutes, once the President swears the oath and officially takes office.
The flag bearers march ceremonially through the St. George and St. Alexander Halls to the St. Andrew Hall where the inauguration is taking place. The President will swear an oath to faithfully serve the people.
The inauguration ceremony is attended by representatives of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of power, the government, the Federation Council, the State Duma, the President Executive Office, the Central Electoral Commission, representatives of Russia’s main religions, holders of the Order of Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called, Heroes of Russia, holders of the Order “For Services to the Fatherland“ first and second degrees, the heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Moscow, representatives of the President’s election campaign headquarters and campaign supporters, representatives of public associations and organizations, members of the Presidential Councils for science and high technology, culture and arts, physical education and sports, representatives of the business community, and the media. In all, 1,700 people are attending the ceremony.
Announcer: The Constitution of the Russian Federation and the Presidential Emblem are carried into the hall.
This copy of the Constitution is a specially printed and bound single copy for the head of state. This unique edition is kept in the Presidential Library and the presidents take oath upon it.
The Presidential Emblem was made neither in Moscow nor in St. Petersburg Mints, but at the ”Russian Crafts“ center in Yaroslavl. The Emblem includes the cross from the Order ”For Services to the Fatherland“ first degree and also its motto ”Value, Honor, Glory.“ But the Presidential Emblem is not an order and is not included among state awards.
What is interesting is that the emblem has been made to last through the centuries. The secret here lies not just in the particular qualities of the precious metals used to make it. The emblem’s chain is made of 17 links on the reverse side of which are inscribed the surname, name, patronymic and date of inauguration of each president. Today, only the fourth of the 17 links will be filled, thus the chain will serve many Russian heads of state yet to come.
Although the emblem is not a state award, it is kept in the hall of awards in the presidential residence, the Kremlin’s Senate Building, whose dome can be seen from Red Square.
Announcer: President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation Valery Dmitrievich Zor’kin.
The President of the Constitutional Court places the Constitution and the Presidential Emblem on the tribune where the head of state will take the oath.
The flag bearers and the President of the Constitutional Court are followed onto the podium by the chairmen of the two houses of parliament. The President is the head of state but the foundation of Russia’s modern state power system lies in the division of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches.
Announcer: Chairman of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Sergei Mikhailovich Mironov.
Announcer: Chairman of the State Duma of the Russian Federation Boris Vyacheslavovich Gryzlov.
Everything is now ready for Vladimir Putin’s inauguration as President of Russia, but Mr Putin is not yet at the Kremlin. His motorcade is now approaching the Kremlin from the direction of the Pashkov House (this historic building is part of the Russian State Library).
The Presidential motorcade has now passed the Alexander Gardens and turned onto the Kremlin Embankment. From here a view opens onto the Grand Kremlin Palace where the guests at the inauguration ceremony are already assembled.
Having approached the turn at the Rossiya Hotel, the Presidential motorcade is now driving up Vasilyevsky Spusk, past the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed and into the Kremlin through the Spassky Gates.
These gates have been shut for traffic on ordinary days for many years now. They are opened only once every four years on the occasion of the President’s inauguration.
Waiting for the President at the main entrance to the Grand Kremlin Palace is Kremlin Superintendent Major-General Khlebnikov, who reports to the head of state:
”Mr President of the Russian Federation.
Superintendent of the Moscow Kremlin Major-General Khlebnikov. Good morning, sir!“
Vladimir Putin mounts the stairs past the guards of the Presidential Regiment and proceeds through the halls past the guests of honor to the sound of the presidential fanfares.
The inauguration ceremony has now reached its culminating moment.
Announcer: Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin!
President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation Valery Dmitrievich Zor’kin!
Valery Zor'Kin: When inaugurated as President of the Russian Federation, the President takes an oath, the text of which is set by the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich, I ask you to take the oath.
Vladimir Putin: I vow, in performing my duties as President of the Russian Federation, to respect and protect human and civil rights and liberties, to observe and protect the Constitution, to protect the sovereignty and independence, security and integrity of the state, and to serve the people faithfully.
Valery Zor'Kin: Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has been inaugurated as President of the Russian Federation. (The national anthem is played).
Announcer: President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin!
Vladimir Putin: Dear citizens of Russia,
The words of the Presidential Oath have just now been spoken. Now I would like to stress the main idea of the Oath and say: the President’s obligations to look after the state and faithfully serve the people will henceforward be sacred for me and will be above all else as before.
As before, I consider that the help and backing of the citizens of Russia constitute the primary and most reliable support for the President’s work.
Today I would like to thank all those who placed such great trust in me by electing me to the post of head of Russian state and all those who, through their work, made their contribution to the results our country has achieved over these last four years.
As during the previous years, I will work actively, openly and honestly and will do all I can, all that is within my power to justify the hopes that millions of people have placed in me.
* * *
The last four years were not easy years for us all. To be frank, they were years of serious trials. Back then, in 2000, it seemed that we were facing a great number of simply irresolvable problems.
But the people of Russia demonstrated their best qualities as patriots and citizens during these critical moments, coming together in the struggle to ensure the country’s territorial integrity and keep our land united, creating a foundation for Russia’s economic growth through their labor and determined efforts.
Together we have achieved a lot and we have achieved it through our only own efforts.
It was we who achieved high economic growth rates, we who overcame difficult ideological confrontation and are now gradually forging a truly united nation.
It was we who stood firm against the attacks of international terrorism and saved the country from the very real threat of collapse.
Together we have made our Motherland a country that is open to the world, a country that seeks broad and equal cooperation, a country that has strengthened its positions on the international stage and has learned how to use peaceful means to stand up for its lawful interests in a rapidly changing world.
The main objective of the coming four years is now to transform the potential we have built up into a new development energy and to use it to bring about a fundamentally new quality of life for our people and a real, tangible increase in their prosperity.
* * *
It is often said here that the head of state in Russia answers and will always answer for everything. This is still the case. But today, although I have a deep awareness of my own personal responsibility, I nevertheless want to emphasize that Russia’s success and prosperity cannot and should not depend on one single person or one political party, or political force alone. We need a broad base for developing democracy in our country and for continuing the transformations we have begun.
It is my conviction that a mature civil society is the best guarantee that this development will continue.
Only free people in a free country can be genuinely successful. This is the foundation for both economic growth and political stability in Russia.
We will do all we can to ensure that everyone here can realize their talents and abilities, to ensure that a genuinely multiparty system develops and that personal freedoms are strengthened. We will make every effort to ensure that all people in Russia have access to good education and social and medical assistance, and that all people have lives free from want and are able to pass on the fruits of their own labor to their children. And, of course, that they could be proud of their strong but peace-loving country and its authority.
We still have much, very much, to do – for our country, for ourselves and for our children. We have all the opportunities we need to achieve the goals we have set. We have the resources, we have our experience and we have complete understanding of our development priorities which have been tried and tested by the positive practical experience of the last four years. We have enormous creative energy and a people with great intellectual potential.
We all are the inheritors of Russia and its thousand years of history, the inheritors of this land that has given birth to exceptional sons and daughters, workers, warriors, and creators. They have passed down to us this huge, great state.
There is no doubt that we can draw strength from our past. But even the most glorious history is not enough to ensure us a better life. Today’s generations of Russians must reinforce this grandeur through their own acts .
Only then will our descendents be able to feel pride in these pages that we are writing in the history of our great nation.
Thank you for your attention.
Following the President’s speech, Mikhail Glinka’s patriotic composition ”Slav’sja“ is played.
An artillery salute of 30 volleys is fired from the direction of the Kremlin Embankment by two batteries of nine guns. This is the work of artillerymen from the Moscow Commandant’s Office.
The head of state will now review the Presidential Regiment, which is quartered in the Kremlin. The hundreds of thousands of tourists that visit the Moscow Kremlin museums every year will all have seen these soldiers and officers. Today they are in full parade dress on Cathedral Square.
The artillery salute and the parade of the Presidential Regiment are the military honors due to the President because the head of state is also Commander-in-Chief and Russia’s Armed Forces are directly subordinate to him.
The Presidential Regiment traces its genealogy back to the elite princes’ armed forces of ancient Russia. Then came the grand princes’ guards and the tsars’ Streltsy regiments, the imperial palace grenadiers and the Kremlin cadets. Today the traditions continue with the Presidential Regiment.
The President will enter Cathedral Square through the doors of the Holy Vestibule and will descend the stairs of the Grand Kremlin Palace to the additional tribune from where he will review the parade.
The officials in light uniforms are the members of the Presidential Orchestra. An interesting detail – their trumpets are white and not brass-colored because they are made of plastic so as to be lighter. This is an example of the interesting combination of ancient traditions and modern technology used to organize the inauguration ceremony.
The most gallant and manly recruits from around the country are selected to serve in the Presidential Regiment, which marks its anniversary on this very day, May 7. A new division appeared in the regiment recently – the Cavalry Honour Escort. This is another example of how Russian military traditions are being revived.
Report of the Presidential Regiment’s Commander:
”Comrade President of the Russian Federation!
The ranks are assembled in honor of the President’s inauguration. Commander of the Presidential Regiment Colonel Galkin.“
Vladimir Putin: Greetings comrades!
(The servicemen of the Presidential Regiment greet the President).
I congratulate you on the occasion of the 68th anniversary of the regiment’s founding.
(Ceremonial march of the Presidential Regiment)
The Presidential Regiment is more than just an honor guard. Men from this regiment fought heroically at the fronts in the Great Patriotic War. Some of today’s officers wear battle decorations on their chests. The regiment’s commander wears the Order of the Red Banner. Many of the regiment’s officers also did military service here earlier.
On February 23, 1944, the Kremlin Regiment was awarded the Battle Red Banner, the symbol of military honor, valor and glory. Three parade battalions took part in the historic Victory Parade on Red Square in 1945. The men of this regiment guarded the Kremlin when it was under attack by Nazi air force.
The Presidential Regiment is quartered in the Kremlin’s historic Arsenal building.
The guards and flag bearers are wearing the historic uniform and the soldiers taking part in the parade are wearing a uniform that looks more like the usual parade uniform worn by servicemen in the Russian Armed Forces.
Young men from almost all regions in the country serve today in the Presidential Regiment. Among the regiment’s privates and sergeants are young men from the Kuzbass, Siberia, the Urals, the Volga region, Stavropol Kraj and the central regions of Russia. They include high-school graduates, graduates of community colleges, young men who worked in industry or in agriculture. The Presidential Regiment is a real training ground for future officers.
What is particularly important is that the regiment represents diverse regions and social groups. This is an elite and honored regiment and it is also to some extent a microcosm of the Russian Armed Forces.
The Cavalry Honor Escort is now preparing to make its entry. This will be the first such occasion in many years and it illustrates the revival of Russian military traditions. The escort is wearing its historic uniform that draws on the uniforms worn by the Semenov and Preobrazhenskij Regiments’ uniforms, though it is not their exact replica.
End of broadcast.