The declaration got here after the couple had gone to peer the ballet Esmeralda at the Kremlin Palace – they left after the first act.
The BBC’s Steve Rosenberg in Moscow says that Thursday’s announcement confirms what had been rumoured for years, that the Putins were having marital problems.
But the scoop has nonetheless come as a shock to many Russians, who’re not used to their leaders getting divorced – despite the fact that Russia has one in all the top divorce charges in the global, our correspondent adds.
The query already dominating the Russian blogosphere is, “will Russia’s president marry again?”, he says.
The Putins’ marriage had been the topic of hypothesis before.
In 2008, Mr Putin denied rumours that he had secretly divorced and used to be making plans to marry former Olympic gymnast Alina Kabayeva.