Vladimir Putin has been inaugurated as the president of Russia.
Putin is returning to the presidency after an absence of four years in which he served as prime minister.
The outgoing President, Dmitry Medvedev, was widely seen as an ally of Putin.
He won a third term as president in the controversial elections in March.
In a short speech in a lavish ceremony in the capital, Moscow, Putin said Russia was entering a new phase of national development and said the coming years will be decisive for the countryís fate for decades to come.
He said Medvedev had given a new impulse to modernisation, and the transformation of Russia must continue.