Putin set to be inaugurated for fourth term as president of Russia

Vladimir Putin is due to be sworn in for a fourth term as president of Russia on Monday after winning the last election in March.

He has been in power for 18 years, whether as president or prime minister, and opponents have likened his tenure to the reign of a tsar, or emperor.

Riot police confronted protesters against his rule in Moscow and other Russian cities on Saturday.

There have been fears of new unrest on Monday as he takes office.

The inauguration at the Kremlin in Moscow is likely to be lower-key than in 2012, AFP news agency reports.

More than 1,000 arrests are said to have been made in 19 cities across Russia on Saturday, nearly half of them in Moscow.

Mr Putin was re-elected president with more than 76% of the vote, his best ever election performance, but widespread irregularities were reported by some international observers. Allegations of ballot-rigging had dogged previous elections too.

The country’s best-known opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, was barred from standing against Mr Putin, on grounds of a conviction for embezzlement which he denies and alleges was politically motivated.

Mr Navalny was arrested briefly as he tried to join Saturday’s unauthorised protest rally in Moscow under the slogan “He’s not our tsar”.

Story By Bbc News