Dmitry Medvedev has been sworn in as Russia's new president at a lavish ceremony in Moscow's Kremlin Palace.
More than 2,000 guests were present at the ceremony in the magnificent surroundings of St Andrew's Hall.
Honour guards in Tsarist-style uniforms brought in the golden chain of the presidential office and a copy of the Russian constitution.
Mr Medvedev then took the presidential oath, becoming Russia's third leader since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.
The 42-year-old formally took over from his mentor Vladimir Putin, who had been in power for eight years.
Mr Putin - who will now become prime minister - is expected to retain major political influence.
Although brief, the inauguration was triumphant in its ceremony, ending with a 30-gun salute to Mr Medvedev.
The president then attended a service in the Assumption Cathedral of the Kremlin.
But the question of who wields the real power in the Kremlin continues to fascinate and puzzle many in Russia and abroad.