MOSCOW, June 6 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila have divorced. Their marriage is over. “This is true,” presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
Vladimir and Lyudmila Putin have been married for almost 30 years. Their wedding took place on July 28, 1983. They have two daughters: Maria, born 1985, and Katerina, born 1986.
Putin who occupies top state posts has preferred not to make his private life public. He has always been short and reluctant whenever journalists asked him personal questions.
Vladimir and Lyudmila Putin appeared together at the Esmeralda ballet in the Kremlin on Thursday evening. That was their first public appearance together in more than a year.
After the performance, Vladimir and Lyudmila Putin told the Russia 24 news television channel that they had divorced.
"We will remain very close people forever. I am grateful to Vladimir for his support,” Lyudmila Putin said.
"This (divorce) was our joint decision. Our marriage is over. We hardly see each other. Each of us has our own lives,” Putin said.
"I do not like publicity. Flying is also hard for me,” Lyudmila Putin explained. She added that they loved their daughters, were proud of them and saw them regularly. Lyudmila’s ex-husband said in turn that their daughters had been educated in Russia and resided in Russia permanently.
During the nationwide Q & A session in April, Putin found it hard to answer whether he was happy. "This is a philosophical question. I am infinitely grateful to life and Russian citizens for entrusting me to be the president of Russia. My life is in it,” Putin said.
"I do not know whether it is enough to be happy,” he added.
Until today Vladimir Putin had always appeared in public with a wedding ring on his right hand. The ring was on his finger in the first half of the day on Thursday when he was holding a conference on education problems in the Kremlin. Photographs from the conference made by the presidential press service and posted on the Kremlin official website show Putin wearing his wedding ring.