Vladimir Putin has been replaced—in the heart of his ex-wife.
The former Lyudmila Putina has reportedly re-married to a man 21 years her junior, according to property records for a St. Petersburg apartment obtained by a Russian news website. Sobesednik.ru posits that Lyudmila’s new beau is 37-year-old Artur Ocheretnyi, the head of the Center for the Development of Interpersonal Communications. Lyudmila has reportedly been a longtime patron of the organization. In her only public appearance since her 2013 divorce from Russia’s president, Lyudmila appeared at a literary awards ceremony put on by a publishing house run by Ocheretnyi’s group.
Lyudmila and Vladimir Putin were married in 1983 and lived in East Germany with their two daughters before moving Leningrad, now known as St. Petersburg. In 1995, the Putins got an apartment in St. Petersburg while he was deputy chairman of the city government. It was originally registered to them and their daughters. Sobesednik found that the apartment was subsequently transferred to the president’s mother-in-law and then Lyudmila’s sister.
Then, on Sept. 24, the apartment was evidently sold to someone named Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Ocheretnaya—with the same patronymic, birthdate, and place of birth as Russia’s former first lady. The Sobesednik report went viral after being confirmed by an anti-corruption activist Monday.
The notoriously private Putins have yet to comment on the new information about apartment re-registration, but the Russian president hasn’t been moping the end of his marriage. In August, Russian websites named a knockout boxer as his possible new girlfriend.
Just like his ex-wife, he has a taste in younger matches: Putin’s girlfriend is also 20 years his junior.