MOSCOW -- Into the swirl of riot police officers they marched side by side as the Romeo and Juliet of the revolution -- inspiring, fearless and beautiful on the streets of Moscow.
She was a television star, once frivolous and known as the Paris Hilton of Russia, he was a lifelong political activist. The unlikely romance of Kseniya Sobchak and Ilya Yashin blossomed last year like the white roses they carried to protests.
Perhaps as inevitably as the fading of the protests themselves, the romance publicly ended over the weekend when Ms. Sobchak unexpectedly announced, at 1 a.m. on Saturday on her Twitter account, that she had married another man, a fellow television personality.
The ceremony, conducted away from the public gaze, also put an end to a decade of churning in the personal life of Russia's most famous socialite, a daughter of a former mayor of St. Petersburg who was a mentor to President Vladimir V. Putin.
When the protests came to Moscow, her choice of sides despite her closeness to the Putin family -- she is rumored to be his goddaughter -- shed light on the depths of the schisms in Russian society. And the relationship with Mr. Yashin suggested the embrace by mainstream Moscow of opposition figures who had, until then, been a harried and tiny minority.
Ms. Sobchak, 31, married Maksim Vitorgan, 40, an actor and a producer of television shows who is from a family of movie actors from the Soviet era.
Mr. Vitorgan has worked at the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater, one of the city's best, and dabbled in opposition activities by directing a movie, "Election Day," which was a satire of Russian electoral politics. But he was not a leader of the opposition.
"Thank you all for your congratulations," Ms. Sobchak wrote on Twitter, posting a photograph of clasped hands with wedding bands.
Some fans offered congratulations. "Accept my sincere best wishes," one wrote.
Some, though, seemed stunned. "What, where is Yashin?" another wrote on Twitter.
Ms. Sobchak's traffic-stopping beauty was a strange complement to the life of Mr. Yashin, a street protester and leader of the People's Freedom Party, the group that also includes Garry Kasparov, the former chess champion. The two had a tumultuous time together. There was the morning last summer, for instance, when their apartment was raided by the police before dawn.
They marched together for the last time, and were arrested, on Dec. 15.
Three days later, Ms. Sobchak turned up at a party with Mr. Vitorgan, according to the gossip Web site spletnik.ru. The confirmation of the rumors is surely a disheartening development for members of the opposition, mirroring the loss of interest in street politics more broadly. The turnout at recent rallies has been paltry.
The state-controlled television station NTV gleefully reported on the marriage, and the unstated subtext -- an opposition leader had been rejected -- broadcasting images of the new couple at an airport, apparently leaving for their honeymoon.
On his Facebook page on Saturday, Mr. Yashin, whose austere tastes and single-minded focus on ushering in political change had been whispered to have grated on Ms. Sobchak's nerves and sense of fun, had not a word on the news. Instead he posted a political statement about police abuse.
"She could not live her whole life with the revolutionary Yashin," Dmitri Oreshkin, a political commentator, said in a telephone interview. "She decided to have a real family and probably become a mother. It's impossible to devote your entire life to the struggle."
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.