Animal-loving Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been accused of staging his famous encounter with a tigress three years ago. Petersburg-based environmentalists Dmitry Molodtsov says that photos of the animal that Putin tagged with a GPS collar in 2008 and subsequent images of what preservationists claimed was the same tigress in fact showed two different animals, indicating that Putin's tigress never was let out into the wild.Divorce is common in Russia, and nearly 700,000 pairs dissolved their marriages in 2009, according to UNICEF.Olga Kryshtanovskaya, a sociologist who studies Russia's political elite, said the divorce probably won't hurt Putin in the public eye – as long as he doesn't take a trophy wife."For years I've heard that it would be good if Putin told the truth and divorced. Everyone's criticizing him for the divorce," Ksenia Sobchak, a socialite and supporter of Putin's opposition, wrote on Twitter.
The end of the marriage of the Russian president and Lyudmila Putina less than two months shy of their 30th anniversary came on state television after a Thursday evening that started out like a model of domestic contentment – a devoted husband taking his wife to the ballet.
After about a minute, the reporter asked about rumors that the two didn't live together.