Putin marriage split shocks Kremlin
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, shocked the Kremlin yesterday with a public announcement that he and his wife of 30 years, Lyudmila, have separated.
Although rumours of the couple’s failing marriage have circulated for a while, there is an expectation for Kremlin leaders to shield their private lives, making Mr Putin’s announcement on state television an unprecedented revelation.
After attending a ballet performance together, Mr Putin said: “It was a joint decision: we hardly see each other, each of us has our own life.”
Mrs Putin agreed: “Our marriage is over…. Vladimir Vladimirovich is completely overloaded with work, our children have grown up, each one of us has our own life…. We almost never see each other.”
The couple, who have two daughters, no longer live together but have said the split was amicable and they will remain close.
Mrs Putin added: “I am very grateful to Vladimir…. that he still supports me. And the children, he really cares for them and the children feel this.”
Over the last several years the pair had not been seen together apart from staged events to impede further rumours, though yesterday’s announcement has sparked speculation that Mr Putin intends to present a new partner.
In 2008 Mr Putin denied allegations of an affair with gymnast and Russian politician, Alina Kabayeva, and when it was reported that Kabayeva gave birth to his child, Mr Putin stated the rumour’s contained “not one word of truth”.