Page last updated at 13:07 GMT, Wednesday, 7 May 2008 14:07 UK

In pictures: Medvedev sworn in

Dmitry Medvedev walks during his inauguration ceremony

Dmitry Medvedev has been sworn in as Russia's new president at a lavish ceremony in Moscow's Kremlin Palace.

Mr Medvedev's inauguration ceremony

More than 2,000 guests were present at the ceremony in the magnificent surroundings of St Andrew's Hall.

Honour guards bring in the chain of the presidential office and a copy of Russia's constitution

Honour guards in Tsarist-style uniforms brought in the golden chain of the presidential office and a copy of the Russian constitution.

Dmitry Medvedev takes the presidential oath

Mr Medvedev then took the presidential oath, becoming Russia's third leader since the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

Vladimir Putin (left) and Dmitry Medvedev

The 42-year-old formally took over from his mentor Vladimir Putin, who had been in power for eight years.

Vladimir Putin (2nd left) embraces the widow of former President Boris Yeltsin, Naina (left), as Dmitry Medvedev (right) hugs his wife Svetlana (2nd right)

Mr Putin - who will now become prime minister - is expected to retain major political influence.

A 30-gun salute at the Kremlin embankment

Although brief, the inauguration was triumphant in its ceremony, ending with a 30-gun salute to Mr Medvedev.

Dmitry Medvedev kisses an icon during a service in the Assumption Cathedral

The president then attended a service in the Assumption Cathedral of the Kremlin.

Vladimir Putin (left) and Dmitry Medvedev attend inauguration festivities

But the question of who wields the real power in the Kremlin continues to fascinate and puzzle many in Russia and abroad.



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