Vladimir Putin’s Marriage Proposal Was So Bizarre His Wife Thought He Was Breaking Up With Her
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Vladimir Putin’s ex-wife, Lyudmila Shkrebneva, said his proposal was so unusual that she was left feeling as though he was dumping her.
Putin married Shkrebneva in 1983 and the pair went on to have two daughters – Mariya and Yekaterina.
In 2013, the couple announced they were divorcing during an interview that was broadcast on TV.
The Russian president is notoriously tight-lipped about his private life, but in 2000 he released a biography titled First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia's President, which featured numerous interviews with him and those closest to him.
Among them is Shkrebneva, who shared details of his odd proposal that left her feeling like she was being broken up with.
Opening up about their relationship, Shkrebneva says she wasn’t exactly bowled over after going on a double date and being matched with a ‘poorly-dressed’ Putin, but the pair kept in touch and later fell in love.
Fast-forward three-and-a-half years, and Putin proposed, but his less-than-romantic wording meant that Shkrebneva initially thought she was being dumped.
She told the interviewer: "One night we were sitting in this house and he said, ‘You know what kind of person I am by now. In general, I'm not very easygoing.
“He was being self-critical. He explained that he was the silent type; that he was rather abrupt in some things and he could even insult people, and so on.
"He was saying that he was a risky life partner. And he added, ‘In three and a half years, you have probably made up your mind’.
"It sounded to me like we were breaking up. 'Yes, I've made up my mind,' I said. "He let out a doubtful, 'Yes?'
"Then I was sure that that was it, we were breaking up. But then he said, 'Well then if that is the way it is, I love you and propose we get married.'
“So it all came as a complete surprise to me."
Following their divorce, which was finalised in 2014, Putin never remarried, but is widely believed to be in a 'secret' relationship with Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Alina Kabaeva.
Meanwhile, Shkrebneva is reported to have married a man named Artur Ocheretny in 2015.