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Putin announces split: 'We have different lives'

By Pierre Meilhan and Alla Eshchenko, CNN
updated 7:37 PM EDT, Fri June 7, 2013
Russia's President Vladimir Putin is a popular but polarizing figure who has dominated Russian politics for more than a decade. Click through to see some highlights of his career. Russia's President Vladimir Putin is a popular but polarizing figure who has dominated Russian politics for more than a decade. Click through to see some highlights of his career.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Russian president, ex-wife announce split on state-run TV
  • "We almost don't see each other," Vladimir Putin tells Russia 24
  • Lyudmila Putin says she doesn't like to be in public
  • The pair have two adult children

(CNN) -- Vladimir Putin's nearly 30-year marriage has ended, the Russian president and his wife told state-run television in a joint interview.

"This was our joint decision. Our marriage is over," Putin told Russia 24, standing next to Lyudmila Putin, in an interview shown Thursday. "We almost don't see each other. We have different lives."

Lyudmila Putin said the two share a love for their two adult children, but hinted life in the public eye took a toll.

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"I don't like to be in public, and it's hard to take (airplane) flights," she said. "We love our children a lot, we are proud of them and see them all the time."

She said that she was grateful for her husband's support and called the split a "civilized divorce."

According to state-run news agency Ria Novosti, a presidential spokesman said divorce papers have not been drawn yet.

The announcement comes after longtime speculation about their relationship, RIA Novosti reported.

Putin married Lyudmila Shkrebneva in July 1983. Their children, Maria and Yekaterina, were born in 1985 and 1986, respectively.

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