Vlad Putin, who has been in the new lately, for being targeted by the bared breasts of Femen, has apparently traded in his somewhat stout and dowdy wife, Lyudmila, for 2000 and 2004 Olympics athlete, Alina Kabayeva.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his 29-year marriage to his his wife, Lyudmila, was over - after removing his wedding band as they watched the ballet together.
The 60-year-old and his 55-year-old wife broke the news of the end of the 29-year marriage in an obviously staged TV interview after a night at the ballet.
Babushka or baboushka or babooshka (from Russian: ба́бушка; IPA: [ˈbabʊʂkə], meaning "grandmother" or "old woman") may refer to:
An Anglicised term for a woman's headscarf tied below the chin, originally worn by Russian elderly women, but now Europe-wide...
Before the ballet at the Kremlin Palace, Putin was pictured wearing his wedding ring, but he must have removed it during the performance because he was not wearing it by the time he left and was interviewed.That seems kind of tacky, but maybe it plays better in Russia than it does here. Russians, at least those known by the Washington Post (a suspect lot for sure) reacted with a yawn.
Asked on Rossiya-24 television about longstanding rumours that the Putins no longer lived together, the 60-year-old Putin said: 'That is true.'
Lyudmila Putin said it had been a 'our common decision. And our marriage is over due to the fact that we barely see each other.'But, of course, a politician with the carefully calculated appearance of virility has no intention of doing without.
Asked whether they were divorced, Lyudmila said it was a 'civilised divorce'.
But neither clarified whether they were legally divorced and Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said he did not know.
The obviously staged interview made no mention of Alina Kabayeva, a 30-year-old former gymnast who is rumoured to have been Putin's mistress for years.
Miss Kabayeva, who is alleged to have given birth to Putin's lovechild, is now a politician after retiring from a glittering career in gymnastics in which she represented her country at the Olympics twice.
Rumours about Putin's alleged affair with Miss Kabayeva first surfaced five years ago when a Russian newspaper owned by the oligarch Alexander Lebedev reported that Putin wanted to marry his gymnast mistress.
Putin angrily denied the story, and the newspaper was closed down shortly afterwards, which many attributed to Putin's rage. Further stories later emerged claiming that Miss Kabayeva had had a baby by the president, but both sides denied them.A year seems a suitable length of time. How long before Putin brings Alina out of the closet?
Mr and Mrs Putin had last been seen in public together at Putin's inauguration to his third presidential term on May 7, 2012.
Married just a few weeks short of 30 years, the Putins announced the decision on state television after attending a ballet performance Thursday evening in the Kremlin.
Russian leaders, unlike their counterparts in the West, generally keep their personal lives well out of public view. Mikhail Gorbachev's wife Raisa raised many Russians' hackles by her visibility, flair for fashionable dress and forthright comments.
But Putin also has made a point of supporting traditional social values and appearing at holiday masses of the Orthodox Church.
I'm sure the Church will find some way to accommodate him; trying to thwart Henry VIII didn't work out so well for the Catholic Church.
The church permits divorce under some circumstances; it is not clear if the Putins sought pastoral advice or permission before the split.When you control a country the size and power of Russia, even as diminished as it is now after Ronald Reagan and GHW Bush, there's certainly no need to put up with an old and ugly wife.
The pair, who married in 1983 and have two daughters, recently attracted attention after they were never seen in public together.
It's Good to be the King!
Linked in "Sorta Blogless Sunday and Pinup" at Pirate's Cove. Thanks, Teach! Wombat-Socho's world famous (not that that's a high bar these days) weekly Rule 5 post "Rule 5 Sunday: Father's Day" came in on time this week at The Other McCain.