Russian President Vladimir Putin and wife Lyudmila on Thursday said they are putting an end to their nearly 30 years of marriage.
In a rare interview with the Russian Television, which Putin attended with his wife, he cleared the air of speculations on their marital relationship.
Putin, 60, and his 55-year old wife, who were rarely seen in public together, made the announcement less than two months to their 30th marriage anniversary. "It was our joint decision," said Putin explaining that the major reason for the end of the married life was because they 'barely see each other."
"All my activity and work is tied to publicity, absolute publicity. Some people like that and some other don't. But there are some people for whom it's completely incompatible," The Wall Street Journal reported him as saying.
"It's no secret and everyone knows that he long ago devoted himself to the country, as pompous as that may sound." Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said on the Life News website. He did not confirm the formal divorce date and said the 'date does not matter anyway'.
The surprise announcement came while the couple was attending an interview after watching a ballet performance at Kremlin Theater. In a reply to a reporter's query about their troubled relationship, the couple confirmed their decision to divorce. The Russian media welcomed the decision compassionately and praised the president for not feigning in front of public.
The couple had married on 28 July, 1983, and has two daughters Maria (28) and Yekaterina (26).