Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila have officially announced that they are divorced. The two made the announcement on Russian state television Thursday evening after attending the ballet Esmeralda at the Kremlin Palace.
Mr. Putin confirmed that he and his ex-wife are no longer living together, and that they have been having marital problems for some time. He went on to say, "It was a joint decision: we hardly see each other, each of us has our own life". Rumors of a split arose when Mrs. Putin, who tends to shy away from publicity and finds frequent traveling to be difficult, stopped making frequent public appearances within recent months.
Many Russian citizens were shocked to hear of the divorce, but Mrs. Putin reassured them that the divorce process was "civilized" and that she and her ex-husband would always remain close.
The two married in 1983 and have to daughters together, both of whom are in their 20s. It can be speculated that the Putin's purposely kept their divorce proceedings quiet to avoid the outcry of media attention. Such tactics are usually used by celebrities.