Putin and wife Lyudmila announce divorce on state TV (VIDEO)


Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during the Japan- Russia Business Forum at a hotel on May 12, 2009 in Tokyo, Japan.


Junko Kimura

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife of 30 years announced that they were divorcing, according to BBC News.

Vladimir and Lyudmila went to the ballet together as man and wife, but apparently that was one date too many for the two of them. They announced the split on Russian state television shortly after the show, according to Arts Journal.

This was not entirely unexpected, according to BBC, which noted that Lyudmila had not been seen in public in months.

Asked about reports that they already live separately, the 60-year-old Russian leader told Russia24: "That is true." 

The move is likely to rekindle longstanding rumors of Putin having affairs or being gay.

Watch the announcement on Russia24 below, but first, here's the translation of the Russian, courtesy of Arts Journal: "It was our joint decision, our marriage is finished," said Lyudmila Putin. "We hardly see each other. Each has his own life."

The Associated Press translated Lyudmila's words as "I don't like publicity, and flying is difficult for me," while Voice of Russia quoted her as saying, "I have problems with flying."

Strange reasoning, as the Russian first lady's first job was that of a flight attendant.

Watch it here:

Vladimir and Lyudmila married in 1983 and have two adult daughters, according to Reuters, noting that it was unclear whether or not the legal proceedings for the divorce had already begun.