6 June 2013, 21:54

President Putin and wife Lyudmila announce their marriage is over

Владимир Путин Людмила Путина

On Thursday evening, the President and his wife attended the "Esmeralda" ballet at the State Kremlin Palace. After the ballet they gave an interview to one of the prominent Russian TV channels in which Mrs Putin claimed her marriage with the President was over.

"Yes, we can say this is a civilized divorce", said Mrs Putin.

Mr Putin, in turn, said "this was a mutual decision".

The President also added that the reason behind his divorce from Lyudmila is rooted in the fact that not every person is ready for such a high degree of publicity which the President's wife has to face on an every day basis.

"All my work is related to the public sphere, where absolute publicity is a necessary prerequisite. Some people like it, some do not, but there are people who cannot live with it at all", - Putin said.

"Lyudmila was such a public person for 8 years, already 9" - the President added.

"I don't like publicity, and I have problems with flying," said Lyudmila Putina. "We are very fond of our children, we are proud of them, and we see them all the time."

"Yes, I support the words of Vladimir Vladimirovich," said Lyudmila Putina. "It's true that it was our joint decision. And it's also true that the reason why our marriage is over is that we practically don't see each other. Vladimir Vladimirovich is completely immersed in his work, our children have grown up, each of them has her own life. To sum up, we've ended up in a situation where each of us has our own life. And it's true that I don't like publicity."

Vladimir Putin said their children "have been educated in Russia and live in Russia permanently."

"We will forever remain very close people," said Lyudmila Putina. I'm grateful to Vladimir Vladimirovich that he supports me."

Asked whether they were divorced, Lyudmila said it was a "civilised divorce". But neither clarified whether they were legally divorced and Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said he did not know.

The couple had last been seen in public together at Putin's inauguration to his third presidential term on May 7, 2012.

They married in 1983 and have two daughters, both in their 20s.

Voice of Russia, RIA, Interfax, Reuters

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