Vladimir Putin on Monday takes office as Russian president for a historic third term, facing the challenges of a fast-changing society and an outburst of protests.
Putin will take over from Dmitry Medvedev as president after a four-year absence from the Kremlin, in a lavish ceremony that aims to remind the world of post-Soviet Russia's status as a great global power.
Medvedev has served as president since 2008 as Putin was constitutionally barred from serving more than two consecutive terms, having become head of state in 2000 following the resignation of Boris Yeltsin.
Police on Sunday used batons and charging tactics to break up an anti-Putin rally in the centre of Moscow.
More than 400 people were arrested.
Putin, 59, will be sworn in just after midday (0800 GMT), when Medvedev hands him the ceremonial chain of presidential office made up of golden double-headed eagles.
Placing his hand on a copy of the constitution, he will swear to "respect and protect the rights and freedoms of the people and citizens" as well as "observe and protect the constitution of the Russian Federation".
He will also pledge to protect "sovereignty and independence and the security and integrity of the state". -- AFP