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Vladimir Putin will do this alone, thank you very much

Sputnik/Mikhail Metzel/Pool via Reuters
Going solo down the aisle.
By Johnny Simon
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Vladimir Putin spent much of Monday alone, it looks like. On the first day of his fourth term, state media photographs emphasized the Russian president moving through events in solitude. He was seen working alone in his office, walking through the Kremlin unaccompanied and standing on stage reviewing a military parade, with no one near his side.

Inaugurations often showcase the peaceful transfer of power from one person to the next, or illustrate a leader’s support. The US presidential inauguration traditionally positions the president-elect with a group of presidential predecessors, as well as supporters like legislators, judges, and family. Opposition leaders will also frequently be visible in the background.

Putin’s forth inauguration showed little of that. Few of his predecessors are still alive, as Putin has been the leader of Russia for 20 years. And while Putin did spend some time gladhanding with people at his formal inauguration ceremony and the military parade after, nearly every attendee who was not military or named Vladimir Putin was corralled behind a velvet rope—even prime minister and former president Dmitry Medvedev.

The result: State images portray Putin as an entirely independent actor—and the only voice that matters in Russia.

Alexey Nikolsky/Sputnik/Kremlin via EPA
Vladimir Putin in his office before his inauguration ceremony on May 7.
Sergey Bobylev/Kremlin/Sputnik via EPA
Walking through the Kremlin before his inauguration ceremony
Sergey Bobylev/Kremlin/Sputnik via EPA
Putin walking in the Senate building before his inauguration ceremony.
Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
Entering the Grand Kremlin Palace while flanked by guards.
Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool via EPA
Putin entering his inauguration ceremony.
Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool via EPA
The moment when Putin shared the stage at his inauguration.
Yekaterina Shtukin/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool via AP
Putin speaks with his hand on the constitution during his inauguration ceremony.
Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool via EPA
Putin shakes hands with Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Sputnik/Sergei Guneev/Pool via Reuters
Walking down the stairs after his inauguration ceremony.
Sputnik/Sergei Guneev/Pool via Reuters
Reviewing a parade of the Presidential regiment after his inauguration ceremony.
Sputnik/Vitaly Belousov/Pool via Reuters
A motorcade of one. Putin’s limo was a newly debuted Russian model, produced by the “Cortege” project, an effort to supply Russian officials with domestically produced automobiles.
Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik/Kremlin Pool via AP
Putin attends a service held by Russian Orthodox Patriarch Krill, right, in the Annunciation Cathedral in Moscow.
Alexei Filippov/Sputnik/Pool via Reuters
Putin walks down the stairs after an inauguration ceremony in Cathedral Square.

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