Timothy Heritage
Reuters
May 7, 2012

Vladimir Putin took the oath as Russia’s president on Monday with a ringing appeal for unity at the start of a six-year term in which he faces growing dissent, economic problems and bitter political rivalries.

Parliament is expected to approve to his ally Dmitry Medvedev, 46, as prime minister on Tuesday, completing a job swap that has left many Russians feeling disenfranchised two decades after the Soviet Union collapsed.

Outside the Kremlin’s high red walls, riot police prevented protests by rounding up about 300 people, including men and women in cafes who were wearing the white ribbons symbolizing opposition to Putin, a day after detaining more than 400 during clashes.

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