Vladimir Putin: The World's Most Powerful Bachelor
Vladimir Putin (61) and his now ex-wife, Lyudmila Putina (56), are officially divorced after 30 years of marriage. Lyudmila Putina (born Lyudmila Shkrebneva), met Putin in the early 1980s while studying at Leningrad State University. The couple married in 1983 and had two children together: Maria in 1985 and Katerina in 1986.
The couple appeared on Russian television in June 2013 to announce their intention to separate. Putin explained, “It was a joint decision: we hardly see each other, each of us has our own life.” However, Lyudmila Putina's name was only recently removed from the biography page of Putin's website. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed to Russian media that this was official notice that Putin's divorce is final.
Speculation has circulated for years of an affair between Putin and 30-year-old former Olympic gymnast Alina Kabayeva. Rumours continued in January 2014 after Kabayeva was pictured wearing a ring on the fourth finger of her right hand, which is how Russian women wear their wedding rings. She was also one of the final six torchbearers at the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics in February 2014.
If Putin's divorce were governed by Ontario family law, he would be the subject of an indefinite spousal support obligation. In Ontario, the duration of spousal support ranges from .5 to 1 year for each year of marriage. However, support will be indefinite if the marriage is 20 years or longer, in duration or, if the marriage has lasted 5 years or longer, when the years of marriage and age of the support recipient (at separation) added together total 65 or more (the rule of 65). After the Ontario Court of Appeal`s decision in Fisher v. Fisher ( O.J. No. 38), the 20-year suggestion for indefinite support became a sharp dividing line. There is a cut-off at 20 years of total cohabitation for indefinite spousal support; any marriage less than 20 years invites the possibility of a termination date for support payments.
This shouldn't be a problem for Putin. Forbes has listed Putin as the most powerful person in the world. Because Putin's wealth is allegedly so vast, he does not appear on any of Forbes' "richest people" lists; all of his assets, real property, and money he has stashed away just cannot be accurately calculated. Putin denies reports that he has a huge private fortune. However, according to a report by former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov and Leonid Martynyuk, a member of the Solidarity movement, Putin has 43 aircrafts, four yachts, and 20 residences that include palaces and estates. Stanislav Belkovsky, a political scientist and long-time Putin critic, estimates that Putin's net worth could be up to $70 billion. If this estimate is accurate, it means Putin is secretly the second richest man in the world.
Even without her marriage to the world’s most powerful man, it seems like Lyudmila Putina still has a very comfortable life ahead of her.