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Vladimir Putin finalises divorce from wife Lyudmila after 30 years of marriage

Any mention of Ms Putin has now been deleted from the Kremlin website
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Vladimir Putin has finalised his divorce from his wife Lyudmila, the Kremlin has confirmed, after 30 years of marriage.

Their plans to separate were announced in an appearance before TV cameras last year but, until only last week, Mr Putin had still been listed as married in his profile on the government’s website.

The completion of the divorce process was not treated with the same publicity, instead only becoming apparent after it emerged that any mention of the president’s former wife had been airbrushed from the official record.

The official biography for Mr Putin, 61, had previously read: “Married. Wife Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Putina.”

It now only lists “Daughters, Maria (born 1985) and Katerina (1986)”.

Speaking to the Itar-Tass Russian news agency, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “This means that the divorce has taken place.”

Announcing the separation on Russian state TV after attending a ballet last summer, Mr Putin had said: “It was a joint decision: we hardly see each other, each of us has our own life.”

Ms Putin, who has rarely been seen in public in recent months, said at the time that the divorce would be “civilised and the two would “always remain close”, the BBC reported.

“I am very grateful to Vladimir... that he still supports me. And the children, he really cares for them and the children feel this,” she said.

Speculation in Moscow has recently linked Mr Putin to the 30-year-old Olympic gymnast Alina Kabaeva, but it has not been commented on by the Kremlin and Mr Peskov insisted the president’s personal life will remain his own affair.

Rumours surrounding the president’s love-life have taken a back seat in recent months, after Mr Putin instead made headlines for annexing the Crimean peninsula and threatening the isolation of Russia in opposition to the West.