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Putin's impending divorce makes history for Russia

June 6, 2013

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been something of a divisive and controversial figure on the world stage for many reasons. However, in contrast to the forceful nature of his political convictions, which have sometimes earned unfavorable reactions from the world's major powers, Putin has kept his personal life intensely private. According to The Wall Street Journal, that veil lifted recently, when, on June 6 after attending a ballet show, Putin stated in the presence of reporters that he and his wife Lyudmila Putina were getting a divorce.

The news source reported that this occurrence marks the first divorce - public or otherwise - of a Russian leader since Peter the Great in the late 17th century. Such a major happening is likely to have those with Russian relatives checking in through an international calling card.

While the couple has been married for nearly thirty years, questions about the possibility of Putin's extramarital activities have persisted since the early 2000s. In 2008, when a Russian newspaper reported that the President planned to leave his wife for a woman half his age, he publicly rebuked the publication, which closed itself down soon after.

According to Time Magazine, the incident of Putin's admission was somewhat staged - the reporter had been waiting for the President and his wife to emerge from the performance. Putin claimed that he and his wife chose to go public because the pressure of public scrutiny was too much to bear.

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