Snowden gets Russian citizenship — 9 years after leak of US intelligence files


Edward Snowden, a former US intelligence contractor, has been granted Russian citizenship.

According to the BBC, Snowden was granted Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

Also, in what appeared to be a Twitter post on the latest development, Snowden shared a picture of himself and his family, adding that he and his wife have no desire to be separated from their sons.

“After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our SONS. After two years of waiting and nearly ten years of exile, a little stability will make a difference for my family. I pray for privacy for them—and for us all,” he tweeted.


In 2013, Snowden fled the US and was given asylum in Russia after leaking secret files that revealed classified domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the National Security Agency (NSA), where he worked.


Consequently, Snowden was charged to court by the US department of justice for theft of government property and violating the espionage act.


In November 2020, he had said he was applying for US-Russia dual citizenship.

In 2020, he was granted permanent residency right by Russia.

In the same year, the US appeal court ruled that the programme Snowden exposed was unlawful.


The court said the NSA’s claims were “inconsistent with the contents of the classified records”, adding that the programme had violated the foreign intelligence surveillance act.


However, in a September 2020 judgment on a lawsuit filed by the United States against Snowden, following the publication of a book titled ‘Permanent Record’, the US maintained that he violated the non-disclosure agreements he signed with both CIA and NSA.


 “Edward Snowden violated his legal obligations to the United States, and therefore, his unlawful financial gains must be relinquished to the government,” Jeffrey A. Rosen, deputy attorney-general, had said at the time.


“As this case demonstrates, the Department of Justice will not overlook the wrongful actions of those who seek to betray the trust reposed in them and to personally profit from their access to classified national security information.”


The US department of justice had also said the lawsuit was “separate from the criminal charges brought against Snowden for his alleged disclosures of classified information”.


Snowden is still wanted in the US for criminal trial.


Meanwhile, the recent development comes amid the Russia-Ukraine war, and the US has repeatedly expressed displeasure over the actions of President Vladimir Putin of Russia, with US President Joe Biden describing him as a “dictator”. 

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