They spoke after attending a ballet. Asked about the longstanding rumours that the couple no longer lived together, the president said:
“All my life and work is public, absolutely public. Some like it, some don’t. There are people who are not very compatible with publicity. So, it was a common decision.”
The couple have made only rare appearances together in recent years.
"Our marriage is over. We practically do not see each other. My husband is fully occupied with his job, our children have grown up, they live their own lives,” said Lydumila Putin.
The news confirms rumours circulating for a long time that the couple had split.
But it will come as a shock to many Russians.
Putin’s spokesman said they separated a long time ago and he did not know if the divorce had been formalised.
It comes a year into Vladimir Putin’s third term as president. The last time the couple were seen together was at his inauguration in May 2012.