Putin started his fourth term today amid mass protests and arrests

Russian president Vladamir Putin was just sworn in at the Kremlins for his fourth term as the head of state.

The ceremony happened in Andreevsky Hall, which acted as the throne room during Imperial Russia, and several thousand guests attended the inauguration formalities.

Putin, 65, received 76.7 per cent of the votes during the March election, which was the largest percentage of votes he had ever won and granted him six more years at the helm — he has already led Russia for 18 years.

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If Putin fully completes the new terms six years, he will become the countrys longest-serving leader since World War II and Cold War Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Although the Russian constitution prevents people from serving again after two consecutive terms, Putin side-stepped the rule in 2008 by taking the Prime Minister position and returning to the head four years later.

Opponents of Putin compared his leadership tenure to an emperorship.

Thousands of protesters gathered outside the Kremlin today to object the inauguration, which follows a weekend of demonstration with more than 1,500 people arrested across 19 cities Saturday. People shouted chants such as “not our tsar,” which is akin to the “not our president” cries against president Donald Trump in the US.

Putins 2012 ceremony also led to mass protests, and people shouted more vitriolic phrases such as, “Putin is a thief.”

Today marks the first day of Putins fourth term in office.

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