Vladimir Putin Grants Citizenship to Edward Snowden in Russia
As reported by the state-run news agency TASS on Monday, former NSA contractor and famed whistleblower Edward Snowden was awarded Russian citizenship by President Vladimir Putin.
His name appeared on a list of 71 other non-citizens who also became citizens. After acquiring permanent residence privileges in 2020, Snowden petitioned for citizenship with his wife, claiming a wish not to be separated from his boys.
On Monday, he tweeted, “After two years of waiting and over 10 years of exile, a little stability will make a difference for my family.” I pray for their privacy, as well as our own.
Snowden has been in exile in Moscow since 2013 when he exposed confidential documents disclosing the National Security Agency’s (NSA) massive surveillance activities impacting millions of Americans. He is facing almost 30 years in jail on espionage charges.
According to Snowden’s attorney Anatoliy Kucherena, the leaker is still ineligible for induction into the conflict against Ukraine since he has never served in the Russian military.
Snowden has previously voiced support for Bitcoin, but he has also emphasized that the money has severe privacy concerns. He participated in the creation of the privacy currency Zcash and is an outspoken opponent of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
The Russian government has indicated an interest in Bitcoin as a method of international commerce but has prohibited domestic usage of cryptocurrencies as a form of currency.
At the conclusion of his term, former U.S. President Donald Trump did not put Edward Snowden on a list of pardoned persons. Trump had advocated for the contractor’s death, but subsequently stated he would consider pardoning Snowden.