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Russians not surprised by Putin's divorce

Friday, June 07, 2013 - 01:30

June 7 - Moscow residents call Russian President Vladimir Putin's divorce a ''private matter'', with some regretting he had not done it earlier. Katharine Jackson reports.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin's admission on state TV that he and his wife Lyudmila had separated came as no surprise for many Russians. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MOSCOW STUDENT ANNA SAYING: "Honestly I thought it was known for quite a while, there were rumours that they have not been together, they did not show up together for a long time. It was just a formality because he is a state official, but in reality they were not together." Still, some said he should not have had to make what was private public. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MOSCOW RESIDENT NATALIA SAYING: "So what? It is his private affair, it does not matter that he is a top official. It is his personal matter, it is his life, I hope it will be better for him, if he thinks so. Together or not, I wish happiness both to him and to her" Married three decades ago, the Putins have made only rare, sometimes awkward appearances together in recent years. Some said the president should revealed his separation long ago. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MOSCOW RESIDENT VADIM DMITRIEVICH SAYING: "It's normal, this is how it was supposed to happen. The only thing is that he was late to do it, he said they had this situation for over ten years - that's bad. But the rest, well, what's wrong with it?" The Putins' announcement removes a big question mark about the private life of a president who has touted traditional values and championed the conservative Russian Orthodox Church as a moral authority.

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Russians not surprised by Putin's divorce

Friday, June 07, 2013 - 01:30