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Putin attends wreath-laying ceremony


STORY: Russia's newly sworn-in president Vladimir Putin attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the tomb of the unknown soldier outside the Kremlin on Tuesday (May 8), one day after his inauguration, at the start of his six-year term.

Putin, 59, observed a moment of silence in front of the eternal flame before reviewing an honor guard together with a group of ministers, deputies and personnel from Russia's armed forces.

Although he has remained Russia's dominant leader for the past four years as prime minister, Putin, 59, has now taken back the formal reins of power he ceded to Medvedev in 2008 after eight years as president.

Putin is returning with his authority weakened by months of protests that have polarized Russia and left the former KGB spy facing a battle to reassert himself or risk being sidelined by the business and political elites whose backing is vital.