'A joint decision': Putin's post-ballet divorce announcement

MOSCOW- Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila announced their divorce Thursday in a joint interview with state television after watching the ballet "Esmeralda" in the Kremlin.
Here is the transcript of the announcement which appeared tightly choreographed and began with their reactions to the ballet they had just seen:

Interviewer: How did you like 'Esmeralda', the ballet?
Putin: It was perfect. Great music, production, performance. They just all very talented.
Lyudmila: The music is very beautiful. It seems our ballet has reached a peak of grandeur and perfection. The dancers move so lightly on the stage.
Interviewer: If you do not mind, one more question. You are seen very rarely together and there are rumours that you are no longer living together. Is it true?
Putin: It is true. All my activity, work is linked to being in public. Some people like that, some do not and there are people who are completely incompatible with this. Lyudmila Alexandrovna has stood guard for some eight years. It is a joint decision.
Lyudmila: It really was our joint decision. Vladimir Vladimirovich is completely drowned in work, our children have grown up and they are living their own lives. Our marriage is over, really because of the fact that we practically never see each other. I really do not like publicity. Flights are difficult for me and we practically do not see each other.
Putin: We are always going to be very close to each other. I am sure, forever.
Lyudmila: We have very good relations. I am very grateful to Vladimir Vladimirovich that he still supports me. And the children, he really cares for them. And the children feel this.
Interviewer: This word was not said and I am scared of saying this, but is this a divorce?
Lyudmila: You can say it is a civilised divorce.

Friday, June 7th 2013

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