After Three presidencies, Putin Sees Need for Reforms 


Russian president Vladimir Putin on Monday took the oath for his fourth (or fifth, by some counts) presidency. In his inauguration speech he said that the country needs breakthroughs that only a free society without a “bureaucratic deadness” is capable of achieving.

“I hope Russia will continue to strengthen its power, and people will live better,” he added.

Putin also noted the need for “deep positive changes in the country”, which should be “modern and dynamic”, boldly accepting the challenges of the time. The forthcoming decisions will shape Russia’s future for decades to come, he said.

“We must use all existing possibilities, first of all for resolving internal urgent tasks of development, for economic and technological breakthroughs, for raising competitiveness in those spheres that determine the future,” he said

“We need breakthroughs in all spheres of life. I am deeply convinced that only a free society that accepts everything new and all advanced and rejects injustice, stagnation, and clinging to the past and bureaucratic deadness is capable of doing this,” Putin explained.

On the eve of the inauguration, a pro-government pollster firm, VTsIOM, reported that 82% of Russians generally approve of the president’s activities. In turn, another pollster, the Levada Center said that polls indicate that Russians believe that Putin’s main achievement was the nation’s return to the status of a great respected country (47% in April 2018 against 49% in March 2015), stabilization of the situation in the North Caucasus (38 to 34%) and the country’s retention from disintegration (27 to 33%). 

Putin garnered 77 percent of the vote in March’s election. He effectively led Russia for all of the 21st century.

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