The whistleblower who exposed the scope of the National Security Agency’s surveillance operations in 2013 and has been living in asylum in Russia since, Edward Snowden, was granted Russian citizenship this week by President Vladimir Putin.
Snowden has been in Russia for 9 years, avoiding criminal espionage charges in the United States. On Monday, Putin released a list of 72 foreign nationals who had been granted Russian citizenship, including Snowden’s name. The Kremlin did not release any further commentary on why it had chosen to grant citizenship to Snowden in particular.
In 2020, Snowden Tweeted that he and his wife, Lindsay Mills, were applying for dual Russian-US citizenship. This week, after Putin’s list was released, Snowden added to the 2020 Tweet, saying, “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.”
Snowden and Mills have two sons who live with them in Moscow. “After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our SONS,” Snowden wrote.
Mills is reportedly filing for her own Russian citizenship now that Snowden has been granted his, according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
Asked about the Biden administration’s reaction to Snowden’s Russian citizenship, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to comment, saying, “So, since I believe there have been criminal charges brought against him, we would point you to — to the Department of Justice for any specifics on this.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CNBC
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