Putin, whose term will run through 2018, also appointed former president Dmitri Medvedev as his prime minister — the appointment had been expected, but was not entirely certain. Medvedev served as prime minister previously under Putin until his election in 2008 as president. Putin, in turn, had served as prime minister during the entirety of Medvedev’s presidency.
Perhaps the more important story, however, are ongoing protests in Moscow, which flared over the weekend and drew tens of thousands in protest of Putin’s inauguration:
A number of demonstrators were injured by riot police, who wielded batons in clearing crowds from Bolotnaya Ploshchad, the site of a planned opposition rally Sunday evening to protest Monday’s presidential inauguration. Seventeen people requested medical care for injuries sustained during the event, a hospital source told Interfax. Around 450 protesters and opposition leaders Alexei Navalny and Sergei Udaltsov were arrested, police said….
Despite the event’s ambitious name, “March of Millions,” organizers did not expect Sunday’s event to draw the estimated tens of thousands who attended. City Hall had given advance approval for 5,000 participants to take part in the march and rally.
Protestors came out in force after last December’s blatantly fraudulent parliamentary elections, as well as in the days leading up to and immediately following the March 4 presidential vote, although a show of force on the streets of Moscow on March 5 had appeared to stall the momentum from any such protests — until this weekend.
Ironically, as police were clashing with protestors who were demanding a more democratic Russia, Putin promised in his short inauguration speech to ‘strengthen Russian democracy.’