Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, have announced that they have separated and that their marriage is over.
"It was our mutual decision," Putin said.
Lyudmila Putina said, "One could say it is a civilized divorce."
The two were married on July 28, 1983.
"All my activities, all the work is done under the eye of the public, absolutely in view of the public," Putin said. "Some people like this, some people don’t. There are some people who are not comfortable with this [public life], like Lyudmila Aleksandrovna.”
“This was really our joint decision," Putina said. "Our marriage is ended because of the fact we practically never see each other. Vladimir Vladimirovich is overwhelmed with work, our children have grown up. Everyone has their own life.”
They announced the decision on the Rossia 24 television channel after attending a performance of the ballet "Esmeralda" in Moscow.
"We will remain close," Putina said. "I’m grateful to Vladimir Vladimirovich that he supports me."
"Lyudmila Aleksandrovna and I will always be close," Putin said.
They have two daughters, Maria and Yekaterina, both in their late 20s.
Putin and Lyudmila had appeared infrequently
in public together, sparking many rumors
through the years.
With reporting by Interfax, ITAR-TASS, and Reuters