Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced yesterday that he is splitting with his wife Lyudmila after nearly 30 years of marriage.
The Putins, who broke the news after attending a performance of the ballet "Esmeralda" in the Kremlin, say their parting is more amicable.
Putin explained that his wife could no longer put up with his highly public lifestyle and heavy workload. “There are people who just cannot put up with it,” he said. “Lyudmila Alexandrovna has stood watch for 8, almost 9 years.”
Lyudmila confirmed: “Our marriage is over because we hardly ever see each other.” She also said she did not enjoy publicity or flying on planes.
The announcement stunned Russians because it is a complete break with both Orthodox and Soviet traditions.