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Putin's Ex-Wife Scrubbed From Kremlin Biography

Putin and his wife of 29 years, Lyudmila, announcing their divorce on state television on June 6.

Any mention of President Vladimir Putin's former wife has been removed from his official biography on the Kremlin website in what a spokesman said signified that the first couple's divorce was now complete.

"This means that the divorce has taken place," presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, Itar-Tass reported Tuesday.

The president's official biography that previously mentioned his wife, Lyudmila, now only lists their daughters Maria, 28, and Yekaterina, 27. However, a longer description of the president's life on another page of the Kremlin website still has a section devoted to his ex-wife, with no mention of the divorce.

The couple announced in a joint interview on state television last June that they were divorcing after nearly 30 years of marriage.

The removal of Lyudmila Putina's name for the president's biography prompted some Russians to remark wryly that history might have to be rewritten. "Lyudmila is history. Whole epochs will now be thrown out of our history textbooks," said a reader on Ekho Moskvy radio's website.

New standardized history textbooks proposed for Russian schools last year make no mention of Putin's most prominent opponents such as former Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky and late Kremlin insider Boris Berezovsky, and critics worry that schoolchildren will soon be instructed in a single Kremlin-approved version of events, similar to Soviet-era textbooks.

Nearly a year after announcing the split, Putin remains single. It is unclear whether he is dating. Peskov has said the president's personal life should remain his own affair.

Contact the author at newsreporter@imedia.ru

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