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Russia's Putin and wife say their marriage is over

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, said on state television on Thursday that they had separated and their marriage was over after 20 years.

Asked on Rossiya-24 television about longstanding rumours that they no longer lived together, the 60-year-old Putin said: "That is true."

Lyudmila Putin, 55, said it had been a "our common decision. And our marriage is over due to the fact that we barely see each other."

Asked whether they were divorced, Lyudmila said it was a "civilised divorce". But neither clarified whether they were legally divorced and Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said he did not know.

The couple had last been seen in public together at Putin's inauguration to his third presidential term on May 7, 2012.

They married in 1983 and have two daughters, both in their 20s.

(Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Editing by Steve Gutterman and Mark Heinrich)