Putin welcomed the fans and the 1,907 athletes from 206 nations who will take part in the event, which runs through Aug. 18.
"I'm sure that the 14th world athletics championships will present us with new stars, new records and positive emotions," Putin said.
The ceremony at Luzhniki Stadium itself featured music from classical Russian composers as well as intricate dance performances, the RIA Novosti news agency said.
Duggar sisters unveil Christian dating rules in new book
Beautician charged with giving client fatal silicone butt injection