Edward Snowden receives Russian citizenship from Putin


US whistleblower
Edward Snowden receives Russian citizenship from Kremlin chief Putin

Edward Snowden with shirt and jacket

Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted Russian citizenship to former US Secretary of State Edward Snowden

© Uncredited/WikiLeaks/AP/dpa

Edward Snowden is granted Russian citizenship. The US whistleblower fled in 2013 after the publication of spying activities. Russia had granted him asylum.

Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin told US whistleblowers Edward Snowden granted Russian citizenship.

The 39-year-old’s name is on a list of new citizens published by the Kremlin. Snowden had previously announced after the birth of his son in Russia that he citizenship apply to have the same rights as the child born in 2020, who received Russian citizenship automatically.

In 2013, Snowden gave journalists documents on spying activities by the US surveillance service NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ. According to his own statements, he wanted to flee via Hong Kong to Ecuador, but ended up stranded in Moscow at the airport after the US government canceled his passport.

Russia granted asylum to Snowden and his wife Lindsay. They applied for Russian citizenship after the birth of their son. They didn’t want to risk being separated from their son, the American had said in 2020. They said they did not want to give up their American citizenship at the time.

US State Department demands: Edward Snowden should surrender

A spokesman for the US State Department said Monday in Washington that the US government continues to call on Snowden to return to the United States to face justice there. He was not aware that the status of Snowden’s US citizenship had changed. The spokesman also stressed that with a Russian citizenship, Snowden could now be drafted into military service in the Ukraine war after Putin announced the partial mobilization of the Russian military.

Snowden’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told the Interfax news agency that the question of conscripting the whistleblower did not arise because he had not served in the Russian army and had no relevant experience. The lawyer said Snowden’s wife would continue to apply for Russian citizenship.

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