By C. J. CHIVERS
Published: May 8, 2008
MOSCOW — Dmitri A. Medvedev, the Kremlin insider and unprepossessing lawyer who had never held elected office before, was sworn in as Russia’s president on Wednesday inside the Grand Kremlin Palace.
The ceremony, mixing czarist splendor with renewed Russian confidence, marked the passing of formal power from departing President Vladimir V. Putin to his young and untested protégé.
But the events also served as a tribute to the enduring stature and popularity of Mr. Putin, who Mr. Medvedev nominated as prime minister within hours of taking office.
Mr. Putin, a former K.G.B. leader who had presided over Russia’s economic revival while consolidating power, rolling back civil liberties and leading a government beset with corruption, arrived at the ceremony alone and before Mr. Medvedev.
He stepped from a black limousine and briefly stood before the ceremonial Presidential Regiment, which was standing outside in the chill. “Greetings, comrades!” he said, and was met with a deep, rousing cheer. The soldiers’ breaths frosted the air.