Vladimir Putin, Wife Divorcing

Lyudmila Putin calls it 'a civilized divorce'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 6, 2013 1:57 PM CDT
Vladimir Putin, Wife Divorcing
Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, arrive at a polling station in Moscow last year.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Vladimir Putin and wife Lyudmila were recently seen in public together for the first time since May 2012, at a ballet performance ... and shortly thereafter they very cheerfully announced on Russian television that they'll be divorcing after nearly 30 years of marriage. "You could say this is a civilized divorce," Lyudmila said during today's announcement, calling it a "mutual decision." She and her husband both blamed the split on Putin's duties as president, RIA Novosti reports.

"All my activity, all [my] work is connected to being in the public eye,” Putin said. “Some people like this, some don’t, but there are people who are completely incompatible with this." Added Lyudmila, "I really do dislike life in the public eye and air travel is very difficult for me. And we hardly see each other." They both reportedly smiled quite a bit during the announcement. Rumors about the demise of the marriage have been swirling for quite some time, and then of course there's all that love child speculation. (More Lyudmila Putin stories.)

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