The Putins' Trip to the Russian Ballet Ended in Divorce

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 6 2013 3:34 PM

The Putins' Trip to the Russian Ballet Ended in Divorce

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila attend a service at Blagoveshchensky (the Annunciation) cathedral in Moscow’s Kremlin, on May 7, 2012, after Putin's inauguration ceremony.

Photo by Alexei Nikolsky/AFP/GettyImages

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, spent Thursday evening at the ballet. Afterward, the couple went on live television and announced that they are getting a divorce. RT with the details (and translation):

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

"It was our joint decision, our marriage is over," President Putin said in the interview to Russia24 state channel. The announcement was made at the Grand Kremlin Palace, where Vladimir and Lyudmila Putin attended the Esmeralda ballet.
Asked to confirm if that was a divorce, Lyudmila Putina, who was standing by the President's side, told the media "Yes, you can say that, this is civilized divorce." ... However, Mrs. Putin said "they will always be friends."

The couple have been married for 30 years, but rumors of marital problems had long swirled about Russia's first couple. According to the BBC, the already media-shy Lyudmila had avoided the public spotlight in recent months, something that only prompted further speculation that the pair was on the outs.

Prior to tonight's trip to the ballet, the couple hadn't been seen together in public since Putin was sworn in for his third term in May of last year. Given that, it's probably a good bet that the post-ballet announcement was pre-planned by the Russian strongman. (Although, according to the BBC, the couple left the ballet after the first act, so perhaps there was at least a small impromptu aspect of the big reveal.)

Regardless, Putin is soon-to-be a single man. Let's all take a minute to guess what photo he'll use for his online dating profile. (The possibilities are almost endless.)

***Follow @JoshVoorhees and the rest of the @slatest team on Twitter.***



Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
Future Tense
Sept. 21 2014 11:38 PM “Welcome to the War of Tomorrow” How Futurama’s writers depicted asymmetrical warfare.
  Health & Science
The Good Word
Sept. 21 2014 11:44 PM Does This Name Make Me Sound High-Fat? Why it just seems so right to call a cracker “Cheez-It.”
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.