New car, selfies & special tune: 5 biggest moments from Putin’s inauguration (VIDEOS)
Working office to Grand Palace
Putin’s previous inauguration in 2012 was somewhat disruptive for traffic in Moscow. After being elected while serving as Prime Minister, Putin went to the inauguration in a motorcade from the government building located half a kilometer from the Kremlin.
The script for this year’s ceremony apparently aimed for different optics. . Putin went directly from his working office in the Senate building, located behind the Kremlin Wall in front of the Red Square, to the Kremlin Grand Palace, which overlooks the Moskva River. His entire path from the office to the exit was tracked by cameras, giving an unexpected and tradition-breaking insight into the literal corridors of Russian power.
President’s new car
Engineers have been working on a line of new state cars for senior Russian officials for several years. Having a domestically-produced automobile for the head of state is a matter of prestige that only a handful of nations can claim. A brand new limousine was first revealed to the public during the inauguration, when Putin took a short ride within the Kremlin walls.
The car called Senate Limousine is one of several models developed under the Kortezh project. There is also a Senate sedan and an Arsenal minivan. The limousine has a 598 horse power 4.4 V8 engine, according to Rossiya-24 news channel, but the plan is to eventually replace it with a more powerful one, currently undergoing trials.
During the walk to the Andreevsky Hall, where the swearing-in took place, Putin was treated to a special tune. A fanfare called “Our president” was composed for the occasion and performed by a military band.
After taking the oath of office and delivering a speech, Putin took time to shake hands with three people standing in the front row near the podium. They were the chair of the Russian government, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church and a man who is not Russian at all. He was former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
Schroeder has a long history of advocating closer relations between Berlin and Moscow and has for years served in the management of Nord Stream AG, the operator company of a natural gas pipeline delivering Russian fuel directly to Germany.
Parade and selfies
For the last part of the inauguration Putin donned the proverbial hat of Commander-in-Chief, taking a review of the Kremlin Regiment. The unit serves both ceremonial duties and guards the Kremlin from a possible armed assault and happens to celebrate its 82nd birthday on Monday.
Troops from the regiment - some wearing the historic blue uniforms, some in modern parade or combat attire and some even mounted - marched across the pavement of the Kremlin’s Cathedral Square. A military band was playing for the tattoo, which served as a sort of preview for the V-Day parade on Wednesday.
After it was over, Putin went to talk to a crowd of guests, most of them young people from all corners of Russia, who were eager to get a handshake from the president and take a selfie with him.
If you like this story, share it with a friend!