Former heavyweight world champion Vitali Klitschko has confirmed that he is divorcing model wife Natalia after 26 years of marriage.
The 51-year-old has been mayor of Ukraine since 2014 after turning to politics after hanging up his boxing gloves. However, model wife and musician Natalia, aged 48, has been living in the Germany city of Hamburg 'for years'.
Despite filing for divorce Klitschko told the German newspaper Bild, the pair have a 'very good relationship' and it is said that the two-time world champion writes to his wife every morning to tell her he is safe in Kyiv.
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Talking to German newspaper Bild, he said: "We filed for divorce together because we have been living apart for years and now want to make it official. We have a very good relationship and respect each other, but we've been living separately in different cities for a long time."
Natalia, who is half Germany and half Ukrainian, has been helping the war effort by looking after refugees who have fled war-torn Ukraine in the last six months.
During a glittering boxing career Klitschko won 45 fights, losing just twice and held the WBC belt for over seven years. After retiring in 2013, he turned to politics and was voted mayor of Kyiv in 2014 and then winning a vote to serve a second terms in 2020.
The couple reportedly first met in the Ukrainian capital and have three children together: Yegor-Daniel (22), Elizabeth-Victoria (19) and Max (16).
Klitschko has remained in Kyiv and become a figurehead for Ukraine following Russia's decision to invade the nation, fighting on the frontline alongside his brother, Wladimir. Klitschko joined Ukraine's Territorial Army, of which Wladimir is chief, on the front line in the battle-torn streets.
Vitali told The Mirror: "Russians were once thought of as our brothers. And I have always been taught that you must never fight your brother."
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