Posted on May 08 2012 – 7:00 AM – Posted by: Doug Brady
Filmed every red-carpeted step from his government office to the podium where he took his oath, Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin Monday with all the pomp and swagger of a Hollywood star.
Applause, pealing bells and cannon fire greeted his swearing in for his third term as president after four years as prime minister for constitutional reasons.
Wearing a red tie to match the carpet and a dark suit, he had descended unaccompanied the steps of the White House building, where he had worked as his protege Dmitry Medvedev’s head of government.
Climbing into a sleek black armoured car, Putin drove in a motorcade through an eerily empty city, cruising down a deserted six-lane highway on his regular route to the Kremlin.
Six Russian television channels gave spectacular simultaneous coverage from a helicopter hovering overhead on a picture-perfect spring day and from cameras travelling ahead of the motorcade’s front line of police motorbikes.
Nothing was left to chance.
The authorities closed the roads three hours ahead of the inauguration and even neighbouring metro stations shut for the occasion, ensuring that any opposition scuffles with police would be firmly out of sight.