For those dismayed by Vladimir Putin's hostility to the West the omens are not good. Today, Russia's new heads of state and government will preside over a military parade in Red Square reminiscent of Soviet times.
This exercise, complete with tanks and ballistic missiles, is due to re-emerge as a permanent feature on the anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. Its revival speaks of a country which will maintain its aggressive attitude towards Nato and former parts of the old Soviet empire, in particular Georgia and the Baltic states.
So far, Mr Putin, the prime minister, has eclipsed his nominee as president, Dmitry Medvedev, whether at the handover ceremony in St Andrew's Hall on Wednesday or when addressing the Duma yesterday. The indications so far are that power has shifted from the Kremlin to parliament, where Mr Putin's party, United Russia, has a majority of over two thirds.
Mr Medvedev has spoken of working in tandem with the prime minister, who, he said, would play a key role in propelling Russia to global economic leadership by 2020.
The irony of the president's position is that the economy is the area where he might be expected to temper the corruption, statism and inefficiency of the Putin years. Yet, under the constitution, that is the purview of the prime minister, while the president oversees foreign and defence matters. Over the need to broaden the country's industrial base and enforce the rule of law in business transactions, the two men could clash.
As for foreign policy, there is nothing yet to indicate that Mr Medvedev will deviate from his predecessor's line. This could mean further trouble for Georgia, with whose breakaway Abkhazia region Moscow has recently deepened relations, and for Lithuania, across which Russia wants to enhance access to the Kaliningrad exclave, where it has invested heavily.
In due course, Mr Medvedev may acquire the authority to act independently of his mentor. An early measure of his freedom of manoeuvre will be whether he can form his own inner circle within the Kremlin.
Meanwhile, the outside world will have to accustom itself to a country which could either be undergoing a constitutional coup or facing rule by duumvirate.