Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila have announced their seperation.
“It was our joint decision. Our marriage is over,” Putin said in an interview on state television, Gregory L. White of the Wall Street Journal reports. “We practically don’t see each other. Each has their own life.”
“I don’t like publicity, for me flights are difficult,” Lyudmila reportedly added.
There had long been unconfirmed rumors that the pair were having troubles and they were rarely seen together for the past few years — though, strangely, just this week the pair were photographed together attending a ballet show at the State Kremlin Palace.
The couple married in 1983, when Putin was 31-years-old, and lived together during Putin’s time as a KGB agent in Germany.
During his time in East Germany the country’s spy agency reportedly described him as a “philanderer and a wifebeater.” This reputation followed Putin as he became Russia’s most important man — in 2011 reports surfaced that suggested that Putin had put his long suffering wife in a mental hospital, so that he could focus on his (alleged) lovers — former gymnast Alina Kabaeva and his personal photographer Yana Lapikova.
It is unclear if Putin is now single or in another relationship, though one recent poll suggested that only 20% of Russian women would marry him, and 43% were opposed.
The couple, whose 30th wedding anniversary would have been in July, have two daughters, both in their late 20s.
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