June 6 - Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila confirmed longstanding rumors that they no longer live together, acknowledging on state television that they have separated. Deborah Gembara reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ended speculation about his marriage on Thursday, confirming to state television that he and his wife have separated. "It's true" he said, adding that life in the public eye wasn't something that appealed to his wife Lyudmila, at least not for the eight or nine years. SOUNDBITE: RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING (Russian): "Some people like it, some don't. and then there are some people who are absolutely incompatible with it. It's a mutual decision." Lyudmila, a former flight attendant, echoed the sentiment. SOUNDBITE: Putin's wife Lyudmila saying (Russian): "Our marriage is over because we barely see each other. Vladimir Vladimirovich is completely engaged with his work, our children have grown up, they're living their own lives. So it just happened that we both have our own lives. And I am not a public person. Flying is difficult for me. And we pretty much don't see each other." She went on to add: SOUNDBITE: Putin's wife Lyudmila saying (Russian): "We've always had good relations. I am very grateful to Vladimir for supporting me, and the children, he cares a lot about children and they feel it." The couple, who married in 1983, have made only rare, sometimes awkward, appearances together over the past few years. During the interview, conducted at the Kremlin, Lyudmila makes mention of it being a "civilized divorce," although neither she nor the president's offfice would confirm whether they have legally ended their marriage.