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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Excerpts from Vladimir Putin's May 7 inaugural speech:

Respected citizens of Russia, dear friends!

Today I am speaking to you because you have trusted me with the highest state post in the country. I understand that I have taken on an enormous responsibility and I know that in Russia the head of state was and will be the person who answers for everything that happens in the country. ...

Today I would like to thank my supporters, all those who voted for me in the elections. You supported the first steps that were already taken. You believed that together we can change our life for the better. I am very grateful to you for this. But I understand that you gave me your support only as an advance payment. ...

I would like to address those who voted for other candidates. I am convinced that you voted for our common future, for common goals. For a better life, for a flourishing and strong Russia. Each one of us has his own experience, his own views. But we should be together. There is much ahead that we must do jointly.

Today is really a historic day. I want to focus attention on that. This is really the first time in the whole history of our state ... that the supreme power in the country is being transferred in the most democratic and most simple way - by the will of the people. Legally and peacefully. ... We have shown that Russia is truly becoming a democratic state. ...

I feel it is my duty to unite the people of Russia, to gather citizens around clear goals and tasks. And every day, every minute of serving the fatherland to remember: We have one homeland, one people. You and I have a common future.