Putin grants citizenship to Edward Snowden, who reveals US wiretapping

Russian President Vladimir Putin granted citizenship on Monday to former security adviser Edward Snowden, who leaked information about a top-secret U.S. surveillance program and is still wanted by Washington on espionage charges.

The decree signed by Putin covers 72 foreigners, but Snowden is the most prominent. Russia granted him asylum in 2013 after he fled the United States to avoid prosecution.

Snowden, 39, a self-confessed whistleblower who was granted permanent residency in Russia in 2020, was applying for a Russian passport without giving up U.S. citizenship, his lawyer said at the time.

His lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told state-run news agency RIA Novosti on Monday that his wife, Lindsay Mills, is now applying for Russian citizenship. Mills joined Snowden in Moscow in 2014. They got married in 2017. Snowden said in a tweet Monday night that they were the parents of two boys.

“After two years of waiting and nearly a decade in exile, a little bit of stability in my family makes a difference,” Snowden said.

Kucherena said Snowden would not be subject to part of the military mobilization that Putin ordered last week to help Russia in the war in Ukraine. Only those with military experience should be called up – although numerous others are widely reported to have been called – and Snowden never served in the Russian military.

White House press secretary Carin Jean-Pierre raised questions about his new status with prosecutors seeking his extradition. “As I believe criminal charges have been brought against him, we will bring any details to the Justice Department,” Jean-Pierre said.

Snowden’s revelations, first published in The Washington Post and The Guardian, are arguably the largest security breach in American history. The information revealed top-secret NSA surveillance and the extraction of extensive digital information as part of the PRISM program.

In 2017, Putin said in a documentary by American director Oliver Stone that Snowden was “not a traitor” for leaking government secrets.

“He did not betray his national interests,” Putin said. “Nor did he transfer any information that was harmful to his own country or his own people to any other country. The only thing Snowden did, was do it publicly.”

Both the Justice Department and the National Security Agency declined to comment on Snowden’s new identity on Monday. But Sue Gordon, the former chief deputy director of the National Intelligence Service, said his acceptance of Russian citizenship “disillusioned everything he did” [through his disclosures] to help America. “

“I do think it’s a very debatable decision,” she said. “Being a Russian citizen now knowing what we’ve done to Russia. I think it undercuts any patriotic arguments he might have made at the time.”

Snowden explained his decision to seek dual citizenship on Twitter in 2020.

“My wife and I do not want to be separated from our son after years of separation from our parents. That is why we are applying for dual U.S.-Russian citizenship in this age of pandemics and closed borders,” he wrote.

“Lindsay and I will remain Americans, raising our son with all the values ​​we love about America — including the freedom to express our opinions. I look forward to the day when I can return to America so the family can be reunited,” He says Add to.

Former Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper acknowledged Monday that the vast collection of phone records revealed by Snowden was a project whose disclosure may have been justified given its focus on Americans.

“But he exposed too many other things that compromise foreign intelligence capabilities that have nothing to do with so-called domestic surveillance,” Clapper said. Additionally, “we don’t know what he exposed other than what the media revealed.”

“A great time to be a Russian citizen,” Clapper said.

Ukraine war: what you need to know

Newest: Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “partial mobilization” of the military in his Sept. 9 national address. On the 21st, the move was characterized as an attempt to defend Russia’s sovereignty against the West, which was trying to use Ukraine as a tool to “divide and destroy Russia.” Follow us here for live updates.

Fight: A successful Ukrainian counteroffensive in recent days has forced Russia into a massive retreat in the northeastern region of Kharkiv as troops fled the cities and villages they had occupied since the early days of the war and abandoned vast quantities of military equipment.

Merger referendum: The staged referendum, which is illegal under international law, will begin on September 1. According to the Russian news agency, from the 23rd to the 27th local time, the separate regions of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. The Moscow-appointed government will start another staged referendum in Kherson on Friday.

photo: Photographers for The Washington Post have been on the ground since the war began — some of their most influential work.

How you can help: Here’s how Americans can help support the people of Ukraine, and people around the world have been giving.

Read our Russia-Ukraine Crisis. are you telegram? Subscribe to our channel For updates and exclusive videos.

Source link