The Dark Secrets Behind Vladimir Putin’s Estranged Relationship With His Ex-Wife, Revealed

We know plenty about Vladimir Putin when it comes to politics and business. But far less is known about his family. Such is the case for Lyudmila Ocheretnaya, Putin’s estranged ex-wife. However, the Russian dictator’s former spouse has been making headlines over the last couple of years. And more information is being revealed about their marriage.

For starters, Lyudmila has moved on

Lyudmila Ocheretnaya wearing dark glasses and reading something on her desk.

Lyudmila Ocheretnaya found a different man in her life. | YouTube

Part of what has brought the former Mrs. Putina into the limelight is that she remarried. Reports came out in 2016 that 57-year-old Lyudmila had married businessman Artur Ocheretny, who is 20 years her junior. The story of their marriage was accompanied by news that the two own a very expensive French villa.

Her divorce from Putin was announced during a ballet

Russian President Vladimir Putin looking sideways while sitting at a desk.

The huge announcement was made in a pretty casual way. | Adam Berry/Getty Images

Vladimir and Lyudmila announced their split in a very bizarre way in 2013. The two made a rare public appearance together to see the ballet La Esmeralda at the State Kremlin Palace. When the two addressed the media during the intermission the performance, they confirmed that they had decided to divorce.

She was rarely seen while she was married to Putin …

Putin and his wife on their wedding day.

They kept details about their marriage very secret. | YouTube

As previously stated, Lyudmila made very few public appearances in the latter part of her marriage to Putin. However, it has been reported that this idea was primarily Putin’s. Business Insider reports that Putin’s reasoning was that he didn’t think a wife should “stick out”. It was also reported, however, that Lyudmila may have had other ambitions. (More on that in just a minute.)

… and was rumored to have been shipped off to a monastery

Putin laughing and grabbing his forehead as he sits on a chair.

Rumors about his wife’s disappearance circulated in the media. | Giphy

Since Lyudmila was so rarely seen, rumors swirled about whether or not she and Putin even lived together. There was even speculation by local Russian media outlets that Putin had shipped her off to a monastery. Although, there doesn’t appear to be any proof that she was ever sent anywhere.

She didn’t enjoy being the first lady

Putin and his wife sitting at a formal event.

She wasn’t ready to be in the spotlight. | YouTube

While Lyudmila kept a very low profile, it was known that she did not like being Russia’s first lady. “She was not ready for this role,” Russian designer and confidante, Slava Zaitsev, reportedly told Reuters back in 2103. “Being a president’s wife came down on her unexpectedly.”

There was a lack of romance

Putin shaking his head and nodding during an interview.

These rumors raised some eyebrows for sure. | Giphy

It’s unclear if there was always trouble in paradise, but the Putins clearly didn’t get along very well during their marriage — at least not towards the end. In 2013, The Moscow Times reported that Lyudmila told German author Irene Pietsch her husband was “a vampire.” Putin retorted that if Pietsch “would deserve a monument if she could bear to spend three weeks with Lyudmila.”

There were affair rumors

Putin walking through golden doors.

Could he have already moved on as well? | Sergei Ilnitsky/AFP/Getty Images

Surely, Vladimir and Lyudmila’s marriage was also tarnished by rumors that he was unfaithful. Among the rumored  mistresses is former gymnast Alina Kabaeva, who was first linked to Putin in 2008, before Vladimir and Lyudmila were divorced. Kabaeva has denied the relationship, however the rumors have continued that the two are already married and even have a secret family together.

Lyudmila isn’t the only one shrouded in secrecy

Vladimir Putin speaking to the press from a podium.

The media suspects that he is also guarded about his daughters. | Giphy

Vladimir and Lyudmila have two adult daughters, Maria and Katerina, who were born in the 1980s. The two have been kept even more of a secret than Lyudmila was. Both daughters attended a university in Russia under fake names so as to fly under the radar.