Putin grants NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden Russian citizenship

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sept. 26 that Edward, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who leaked information about the extensive domestic surveillance activities of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) during the Obama administration. gave Snowden full Russian citizenship.

Snowden, 39, fled the United States to Russia in 2013 after posting classified files revealing NSA activity. US authorities have been trying for years to bring back her Snowden and arrest her on suspicion of spying.

Snowden is one of about 75 foreigners granted Russian citizenship, according to Russian state media. report, citing a presidential decree issued by Putin.laws and regulations It was published on the Russian government website.

The former NSA contractor was granted permanent residency in Russia in 2020. At the time, Snowden said he planned to apply for Russian citizenship and would not renounce his U.S. citizenship. U.S. officials who have publicly defended them said they were not telling the truth.

“Will Snowden be drafted?” Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of state media RT, wrote in her Telegram channel in a dark and humorous tone. She was referring to President Putin’s speech last week in which he said the Russian leader would partially mobilize its own forces in the conflict in Ukraine.

However, Snowden’s attorney, Anatoly Kucherena, told RIA news agency that he was unable to call his client because he had never served in the Russian military before. Snowden’s wife, Lindsay Mills, who gave birth to a son in

“did not cooperate”

Putin, a former KGB official, has publicly said that while Snowden was wrong in leaking intelligence secrets in 2017, he did not believe he was a traitor to the United States. Since then, Snowden has rarely spoken out on Russia’s internal affairs, reportedly keeping a low profile.

“I am not cooperating with the Russian intelligence services, I am not cooperating and I will not,” he said. Said NPR in 2019. “I revoked my access to the archives. … I knew I had to go through this complex multi-jurisdiction, so I didn’t have the material with me before I left Hong Kong.”

Snowden told news outlets in 2019 that he would be happy to return to the United States if a fair trial was guaranteed.

“People look at me now and think I’m a crazy man or an extremist or whatever. [I] We set out to burn the NSA down,” Snowden told NPR. “But that’s not what this was about. In many ways, 2013 wasn’t about surveillance. did.”

Since then, he has amassed over 5.3 million followers on Twitter. There was no immediate response from Snowden on social media or elsewhere after he obtained Russian citizenship.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Jack Phillips


Jack Phillips is a New York-based breaking news reporter for the Epoch Times.