Vladimir Putin has been inaugurated as president of Russia in a lavish ceremony in the capital, Moscow.
Mr. Putin is returning to the presidency after an absence of four years in which he served as Prime Minister.
The outgoing President, Dmitry Medvedev, was widely seen as an ally of Mr Putin which eased his political ambition.
On Sunday, thousands of protesters opposed to the inauguration clashed with police in Moscow.
Mr Putin took the presidential oath at the Grand Kremlin Palace, in a hall that was once the throne room of the Russian tsars.
In a short speech he said Russia was “entering a new phase of national development”.
He said Mr Medvedev had given a new impulse to modernisation, and the “transformation” of Russia must continue.
He also spoke of the need to strengthen Russian democracy and constitutional rights.