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Russia's Putin confirms his marriage is over

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Russia's Putin confirms his marriage is over


Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila have appeared together on state television to confirm publicly that they have separated and their 30-year marriage is over.

They spoke about the split to Rossiya-24 TV during an interview after they had both attended a ballet performance in the Kremlin.

Asked about the long-standing rumours that the couple no longer lived together, the president said: “That is true.” He went on: “All my life and work is public, absolutely public. Some like it, some don’t. There are people who are not very compatible with publicity. So, it was a common decision.”

The couple have made only rare appearances together in recent years.

“Our marriage is over. We practically do not see each other. My husband is fully occupied with his job, our children have grown up, they live their own lives,” said Lydumila Putin.

Neither clarified whether their marriage was legally dissolved, although Lyudmila said it was a “civilised divorce”.

Putin’s spokesman said they separated a long time ago and he did not know if the divorce had been formalised.

The news confirms rumours circulating for a long time and removes a big question mark about the private life of a president who has increasingly touted traditional values and championed the conservative Russian Orthodox Church as a moral authority.

The announcement came just over one year into Vladimir Putin’s third term as president.

  • US First Lady Laura Bush, US President George W. Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian First Lady Lyudmila Putina chat prior to the Water and Music Show at the Peterhof Palace outside St. Petersburg May 31, 2003. President Putin played host to heads of states in his home town St.Petersburg on Saturday as lavish celebrations continued for the city’s 300th anniversary. REUTERS/POOL/Mladen Antonov

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin ® and his wife Lyudmila approach the polling station in Moscow, December 7, 2003. Russians voted on Sunday in parliamentary polls expected to tighten Putin’s grip on power and open the way for economic reform. REUTERS/Viktor Korotayev

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila sit in front of the Taj Mahal while touring city of Agra October 4, 2000. Building on the first day of a visit aimed at rekindling Soviet-era amity, Putin told India’s parliament that ties with New Delhi would remain a key element of Moscow’s foreign policy.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and his wife Lyudmila cross themselves during Easter service at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, early April 15, 2001

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