President Vladimir Putin has announced that he and his wife of nearly 30 years are divorcing.
Most Russians were shocked by the surprise announcement, though long suspecting discord between the couple. Kommersant business daily headlined its story “Civilized divorce”, saying that the couple suffered from “incompatibility of life rhythms.”
State-controlled and pro-Kremlin news outlets, who support the president’s decision to divorce, are calling it a “heroic act for truth.”
There is no “other woman,” and Putin will not be getting married again any time soon, said the president’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, in response to the rumors that Putin has eloped with former gymnast and current State Duma Deputy.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied the 60-year-old president was planning to remarry, telling the Echo of Moscow radio station: “I can say for sure that this is more about rumours and tittle-tattle.”
“We are always going to be very close to each other. I am sure, forever,” Putin said
“For years I heard how good it would be if Putin told the truth and divorced. What now? Everyone is criticising him for divorcing. That’s low,” said television host and protest activist Ksenia Sobchak on Twitter. Her father was Putin’s mentor in politics while Leningrad mayor.
Putin is now “the country’s most eligible bachelor”, journalist Andrei Kolesnikov, who has close access to the Kremlin, joked on his Russky Pioneer magazine website.