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THE TRUTH ABOUT
VLADIMIR PUTIN'S
EX-WIFE
By JEAN MENDOZA AND MATT REIGLE
History - Science
Although Vladimir Putin keeps his personal life private, the public knows that Putin was once married. Putin met Lyudmila Shkrebneva when she worked as a flight attendant for Aeroflot, and the two started dating soon after a common friend invited them to watch a comedian perform in Leningrad.
Lyudmila was born in Kaliningrad in 1958 to a working class family — her father worked at a mechanical plant and her mother was a cashier. Lyudmila was an excellent student of literature and the Russian language who loved reading and writing poems, but she also had aspirations of becoming an actress.
Vladimir and Lyudmila wed in 1983 and have two daughters together. Lyudmila — a qualified linguist who had also worked as a German instructor — fulfilled her duties as First Lady when Putin became President, although their marriage wasn’t without typical spousal hassles.
While Putin rose to power, Lyudmila stayed away from the spotlight, rarely showing her face to the public. After almost 30 years of being together, the two announced their joint decision to dissolve their marriage in 2013, which came as a surprise, as it is uncommon for high-ranking politicians to end their marriages while in office.
The former couple said that it was a “civilized divorce,” with both insisting they would remain friends. Lyudmila married a businessman named Artur Ocheretny in 2016, and the couple moved to France, where they bought a $7.46 million villa.