Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila
Vladimir Putin with his then-wife, Lyudmila, in 2012. (Photo: Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is a shadowy figure; as befits the KGB agent he used to be, not much is known about his personal life. "I have a private life in which I do not permit interference," he has said. "It must be respected." OK then! Even his closest relationships have been kept close to the vest, the diametric opposite of America's oft-photographed first families. So, is Putin married?

Is Putin married?

Is Putin married? No, Putin is not currently married. Not officially. But he used to be.

Vladimir Putin was married to Lyudmila Shkrebneva, a former Aeroflot flight attendant, for more than 30 years. They met when Putin was a young KGB agent and married in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) in 1983. In the late '80s, Putin left the KGB and began his career in business and local government. Lyudmila became a linguist, teaching languages at Leningrad State University from 1990 to 1994.

After Putin became Russia's president in 2000, Lyudmila served as Russia's first lady but kept a low profile. The Kremlin never released an official family portrait.In June 2013, the couple announced they had separated. Their divorce was confirmed in April 2014.

 

Does Putin have children?

Vladimir Putin and Lyudmila have two daughters, Mariya and Yekaterina. The latter was born in Dresden, East Germany, when Putin was stationed there as a KGB agent.

Is Putin dating? What's this about a secret wife?

According to the UK Express newspaper, toward the end of Putin's marriage to Lyudmila, rumors spread that he was dating Olympic gold medal gymnast Alina Kabaeva. She took the gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics and bronze at the 2000 Sydney Games.

Kabeva, now 35, has worked as a model, actress and low-level politician. In 2014, she joined the board of directors of the National Media Group, the largest pro-Kremlin Russian media company.

The rumors of their relationship have never been confirmed, although Kabaeva hasn't been linked to anyone else in more than ten years. Russian newspapers have reported that the two married in secret and have at least one child together. The UK Sun reports that in September 2017, she Kabaeva was spotted in Italy wearing what appeared to be a wedding ring.

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