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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Person of the week
Putin’s ex-wife ‘marries a boytoy’ 21 years her junior
     2016-January-29  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    DURING his first two presidential terms, she was the self-effacing and modestly dressed wife, dutifully posing for photographs and hosting state visits but largely staying in the background. By the start of his third term, she was virtually invisible. One year later, she was gone.

    But now she is said to have married a man 21 years her junior.

    Vladimir Putin’s ex-wife Lyudmila Alexandrovna Putina appears on official records to have changed her name as if she is now the spouse of a known friend, dashing executive Arthur Ocheretny, 37.

    If the 58-year-old former Russian first lady has wed him, it mirrors the Kremlin strongman’s rumored relationship with Olympic gymnast Alina Kabayeva, also in her 30s.

    But it is also in stark contrast to rumors that the former Aeroflot stewardess had found sanctuary by shutting herself away in an Orthodox Church nunnery. There is no confirmation of the union as marriage certificates are not public in Russia.

    St. Petersburg property known to have been owned by Putina’s family is now listed on official state records as belonging to Lyudmila Alexandrovna Ocheretnaya, with the name as well as date and place of birth matching those of the former first lady.

    It cannot be excluded that there has been an element of subterfuge, perhaps an attempt to give Putina some privacy after her years in the limelight — in which she felt uncomfortable.

    Against this, in recent years she had clearly achieved anonymity — having been seen in public only once since she and Putin announced their divorce after attending a Bolshoi Theater performance together.

    Sobesednik.ru — an independent media outlet — also reported that she holds a passport in the name Ocheretnaya issued Feb. 2 2015.

    “It is very possible that the change of family name was caused by purely innocent reasons,” stated the website.

    “But having received a written request on the whether he (or any of his family members) has personal relations with the ex-wife of the president, Arthur Ocheretny for some reason preferred not to reply to deny the allegations.

    “At the same time he did not deny any part of Sobesednik.ru’s information about the new surname of (Lyudmila Putina).”

    The pair have not been pictured together, but they appear to be “friends” on social media.

    Putin is rumored to have partnered with gymnast Kabayeva, now 32, while the president and his ex-wife have two daughters aged only a few years younger than their parents’ new heartthrobs. Daughter Maria is now 30, and Katya is 29.

    Opposition journalist Georgy Alburov, linked to Putin foe and anti-corruption campaigner Alexey Navalny, examined the online newspaper’s evidence and declared it to be a “brilliant investigation.”

    “We have double checked everything, verified it, asked for all the register papers and confirm everything,” he said.

    Little is known of Ocheretny but he has a son aged around 10 years old.

    On social media he “likes” pro-Putin stories and last summer appeared to enjoy a holiday near Biarritz in France.

    Ocheretny’s previous job was at a company called Art Show Center, which organized parties for United Russia — Putin’s political party — and energy giant Gazprom.

    Ocheretny is reported as heading the Center for Interpersonal Communications and Literature Education publishing house in Moscow, both of which have been previously associated with Putina.

    In 2014, Putin told Russians he would not contemplate remarrying until Putina was happily betrothed.

    “First I have to see my ex-wife Lyudmila Alexandrovna married, and only then think about myself,” he told a televised question and answer session when asked about how long Russia would have to wait for a new first lady.

    Born to a factory worker father and cashier mother, Putina grew up in modest surroundings but was a smart and ambitious student. “She was active and social, studied hard and was very capable,” said one former teacher. “She dreamed of becoming an actress.” After she finished school, Putina worked at a machinery plant before becoming a flight attendant for Aeroflot.

    She met Putin at a concert in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, in the early 1980s. Their relationship was never easy. “To say Vladimir Vladimirovich tested me throughout our entire life together is completely correct,” Putina told Oleg Blotsky, the president’s biographer. “I always had the feeling that he was observing me and what decisions I made to see whether I could withstand any test.” She said she did not find out that he was a KGB officer until 18 months into their relationship.

    They married in July 1983. “You know how you meet someone and fall in love with them immediately? Well, that didn’t happen,” Putina told Blotsky. “I grew accustomed to him step by step, and fell in love.”

    Putina graduated in philology at Leningrad State University in 1986. She became proficient in Spanish, French, and German, gaining fluency in the last during her husband’s stint as a KGB officer in Dresden.

    In Germany, Putina was left largely on her own with their two infant daughters, Masha and Katya. She recalled being seven months pregnant with Katya and climbing six flights of stairs up to their flat, the infant Masha in one hand and an overflowing bag of groceries in the other. On one occasion a neighbor lent a hand. The rest of the time she made do on her own.

    When her husband was elected president in 2000, Putina was presented with a choice: to take a more active role as Russia’s first lady, as her peers had in the west, or maintain the more passive presence of her Soviet predecessors. She went largely with the latter option.

    “The wives of Brezhnev and Khrushchev behaved very modestly and kept in the shadows,” says one political image consultant who worked with her just after her husband’s election.

    “Raisa Gorbacheva (Mikhail Gorbachev’s wife) represented a complete break from this tradition, but a lot of people were unhappy about it.” Specifically she was criticized for her constant presence on television, her traveling and lavish wardrobe at a time when many Russians were forced to wait in breadlines.

    Putina was not given the opportunity to sit idle, however. A first lady “always has to have a smile on, take part in official events, always look good,” said the consultant. “It’s hard, unpaid work.”

    On June 6, 2013, Putina and her husband publicly announced termination of their marriage based on a mutual decision. On that day, Putina took to Russian state television with President Putin for a joint announcement about their upcoming divorce. The smile on her face was as happy as any bride’s on her wedding day. “It really was a mutual decision,” Putina said. “It is a civilized divorce.”

    Putina has not been spotted publicly since the announcement of the divorce. Those who knew her imagine that she is trying to get back to the normal life she always tried to live, even in the Kremlin.

    One acquaintance recalls running into Putina, then still married to the president, on a commercial flight between Moscow and Europe. The first lady had disguised herself with dark glasses and was sitting, the acquaintance recalls, in economy.

    Putina once called Putin a vampire, while he in turn has suggested that anyone who could put up with her for three weeks was heroic and deserved a monument.

    These and other observations about the private family life of the Putins were detailed in a 2001 book that provided a rare glimpse into the relationship.

    The book was titled “Fragile Friendships” and was penned by a German friend, Irene Pietsch, the wife of a Hamburg banker, who became acquainted with the Putins in 1995.

    “Unfortunately, he is a vampire,” Putina said jokingly of her husband, according to the German-language book.

    Pietsch also wrote that Putina had a fondness for astrology that did not rest well with her husband, who shushed her when she started talking about zodiac signs.

    Pietsch said Putina described her husband as just the right man for her — he didn’t drink and he didn’t beat her.(SD-Agencies)

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