Published: April 19, 2014 (Issue # 1806)
A pensioner from the Siberian city of Novosibirsk who gained notoriety as the “kopek millionaire” has expressed his desire to wed President Vladimir Putin’s ex-wife.
Putin said Thursday during his annual televised call-in show that he would not remarry until his former wife, Lyudmila Putina, found a new husband.
Putin and his wife announced their plans to get divorced last June after 30 years of marriage.
“I have been single since 2008 and I want to offer hand and heart to Lyudmila Alexandrovna Putina,” smitten pensioner Yury Babin told RIA Novosti on Friday. “I thought about this two months ago, but yesterday Vladimir Vladimirovich prompted me once again.”
“I hope that my dreams are realized,” said Babin, adding that he hoped Lyudmila would learn of his intentions via the media.
Babin earned the moniker “kopek millionaire” in December 2012 after he collected 7.5 tons of kopeks, valued at 19.9 million rubles, which amounts to little more than $500,000.
He also offered space in his cottage to U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, who was granted asylum in Russia last year and who also posed Putin a question during Thursday’s live QA session.