RUSSIAN president Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila have announced they are divorcing.
Married just a few weeks short of 30 years, the Putins announced the decision on state television after attending a ballet performance in the Kremlin this evening.
“It was our joint decision,” Mr Putin said.
Lyudmila Putin was rarely seen in public during her husband’s long tenure at the top of Russian politics.
“I don’t like publicity and flying is difficult for me,” she said.
The Putins married on July 28 1983 and have two daughters, Maria and Yekaterina. In the televised announcement of their divorce, Mr Putin appeared reserved and Lyudmila smiled tentatively.
“We practically never saw each other. To each his own life,” Mr Putin said.
Mrs Putin said: “We will eternally be very close people. I’m thankful to Vladimir Vladimirovich that he supports me.”