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News Analysis: Snap announcement of divorce no blow to Putin: experts

Xinhua)  08:51, June 08, 2013  

Image taken from video shows Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila Putina being interviewed in a program on a local news TV channel on June 6, 2013. Putin and his wife Lyudmila Putina on Thursday announced their divorce. (Xinhua)

MOSCOW, June 7 (Xinhua) -- President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila Putina announced late Thursday their "joint decision" to divorce, a move local experts perceived as serving no blow to his popularity.

"Putin is a public figure, both due to the nature of his political position and his personality. He is an extrovert while his wife an introvert," head of the Eurasia Heritage Foundation Yelena Yatsenko told Xinhua on Friday.

"So it is only a matter of time when they decide to part," Yatsenko said, adding the "logical decision" would have been made long before should Putin have no concerns over the possible negative effect on his image.

The announcement came right after the couple with an almost 30-year-long marriage enjoyed a ballet performance in the Kremlin, a timing and occasion that would hardly harm Putin's popularity if not boosting it, she said.

"The Russian society has been split over people's attitudes toward personal matters. Meanwhile, both traditionalists and so-called advanced people agree that Vladimir Putin's decision is noble," the expert said, adding the situation shows "humane" side of the president.

The traditionalists, she said, would see the move as a courageous act of a couple who did not want to "live in lie" any more, while the libertarians would take it as an intrinsic right of a person regardless of his or her social status.

Nearly throughout his reign over Russia, Putin has been gossiped by tabloids which tried to get celebrities involved.

Alina Kabayeva, a gymnastic champion, has been among the most frequently named Putin's alleged mistresses.

The rumors always turned out to be groundless, but they failed to prevent journalists from making more speculations.

Kremlin aide Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that the president's divorce had nothing to do with any other woman.

"There is no other woman in the president's life. It is easy to understand that his life is in no way connected with family matters," Peskov told a local radio station.

The main reason for the divorce, as the couple told a local television station, was that they "practically did not see each other" since Putin was "immersed in his work" while Lyudmila did not like publicity.

The last time the couple appeared together was the president's inauguration ceremony on May 7, 2012.

"It is our joint decision that our marriage is over," the couple said, smiling and seemingly relaxed.

Thousands of Russian netizens have posted online comments in hours following the announcement, the majority of whom were rather positive.

"He has acted in a manly move with honesty and sincerity," said one blogger.

The way the Putins handled their divorce could be a good example for other Russian families who were going to split, Svetlana Chervyakova, a Moscow marriage lawyer, told Xinhua.

"They settle their personal affairs in a highly civilized manner, which is rare in Russia," she said.

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(Editor:LiangJun、Yao Chun)


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