Russian president Putin announces divorce on national TV
A divorce is a big deal, but an even bigger deal when you are the president of a country. But for Russians, the announcement was a long time coming.
Well, this is awkward. Despite years of speculation that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila have been separated, they finally confirmed the news on state-run TV Thursday. The couple has been married for 30 years.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the announcement comes after years of all kinds of rumors about the couple, including that Lyudmila had entered a convent and that Vladimir planned to marry a 30-year-old gymnast, who also happens to be a member of the Russian Parliament in his party.
The Putins have children in their 20s and it doesn't appear the divorce will have any impact on their relationships with them.
"We really love our children, are very proud of them and see them regularly," Lyudmila said in the interview.
A lot of the speculation was reportedly started because Putin is very private about his home life, including his marriage and children. The 60-year-old finally answered the question after a host on the TV network asked.
Lyudmila added that it was "our common decision — and due to the fact that we barely see each other," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
She added that it would be a "civilized divorce", according to Russia Today.
Before a recent rare appearance together at a ballet performance at the Kremlin before the interview, the couple hadn't been seen in public together since May 2012.
It is not clear how long the marriage has been on the rocks, but THR reports that Lyudmila had accompanied Putin on many foreign trips during his first term from 2000 to 2004, but then stayed home after that.
"I don't like publicity and flying is difficult for me," she said, according to the Associated Press.
Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the couple is not yet divorced and that he doesn't know when they would begin the process.