MOSCOW (AP) — Russian media have reacted with unusual compassion to Thursday's announcement of President Vladimir Putin's divorce.

Putin and his wife Lyudmila, rarely seen in public, announced the end of their marriage less than two months shy of their 30th anniversary in an interview with Russian television. His spokesman Dmitry Peskov could not say when they would formally divorced, adding that this did not matter.

While break-ups involving prominent politicians are rare, some sections of the media often sneer at celebrity splits.

Opposition-leaning Kommersant Radio lauded the couple's announcement for keeping the public informed instead of "living a double life." One of Russia's best-selling tabloids, Moskovsky Komsomolets, credited the president with breaking a long-held taboo.

Russian leaders, unlike their American counterparts, generally keep their domestic lives well out of public view.