May 7, 2012
Vladimir V. Putin reclaimed the Russian presidency under the vaulted gold ceiling of a Kremlin palace on Monday, as the police tried to stamp out a second day of protests in the city, passing on orders to detain anyone wearing a white ribbon, the opposition’s symbol.
In a ceremony anchored less in words than the physical attributes of power, Mr. Putin’s motorcade glided soundlessly through a city that seemed emptied of people. Inside the Kremlin’s battlement, he then walked over a long red carpet through a series of large chambers until he reached one as lustrous and intricate as a jewel box.
There Mr. Putin took the oath of office for a third time, extending his status as Russia’s paramount leader to a total of 18 years. He has said he may run for a fourth six-year term after that, meaning he could legally remain in power until 2024.