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Monday, May 20, 2024

Putin Gives American Whistleblower Edward Snowden Russian Citizenship

Edward Snowden left the US and was granted asylum in Russia after disclosing classified documents in 2013

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RUSSIA: Edward Snowden, a former American intelligence contractor, was granted Russian citizenship on Monday by President Vladimir Putin, nine years after he revealed the scope of the National Security Agency’s covert monitoring operations.

39-year-old Edward Snowden left the US and was granted asylum in Russia after disclosing classified documents in 2013 that showed the NSA, where he worked, had engaged in extensive domestic and global surveillance operations.

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He has been wanted by American authorities to return home for years so that he might stand trial for espionage there.

Snowden’s name surfaced in a Putin proclamation granting citizenship to 72 people who were born abroad without any Kremlin response.

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Later, Snowden put out a message—basically an updated version of a tweet from November 2020—in which he expressed his desire for seclusion and the continuation of his family.

Five days after Putin declared Russia’s first public mobilisation since World War Two to support its faltering invasion of Ukraine, the news led some Russians to humorously wonder if Snowden would be drafted into the military.

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Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden’s attorney, told the RIA news agency that because Snowden had never before served in the Russian Army, his client could not be called up.

He declared that Lindsay Mills, Snowden’s spouse who gave birth to a son in 2020, would also apply for citizenship.

Ned Price, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, stated that he was not aware of any modification to Snowden’s citizenship.

In 2020, Russia granted Snowden the ability to live there permanently, opening the door for him to apply for citizenship.

In the same year, a U.S. appeals court determined that the programme Snowden had revealed was illegal and that the public justifications offered by U.S. intelligence officials were false.

The disclosure of American secrets by Snowden, who keeps a low profile while residing in Russia, was wrong, but he wasn’t a traitor, according to Putin, a former head of the Russian intelligence service.

Also Read: Biden Warns Putin against using Tactical Nuclear Weapons


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