Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted Edward Snowden Russian citizenship, two years after Snowden and his wife applied for dual US-Russian citizenship.
In November 2020, Snowden and his wife applied for Russian citizenship, although he had already been given permanent residency in Russia. Putin has now directly stepped in, granting the former NSA contractor with Russian citizenship, days after Putin escalates his special military operation in Ukraine with a "partial mobilization" of Russian citizens (and some fleeing to Georgia right now).
Snowden tweeted: "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".
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Snowden's wife, Lindsay Mills, will receive Russian citizenship now that Snowden has it, while Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena said that Snowden's child was born in the Russian Federation and received Russian citizenship at birth.
The news of the former NSA contractor receiving Russian citizenship didn't get much fanfare, with Snowden's name being placed without the Kremlin commenting during a Putin decree conferring citizenship to 72 foreign-born individuals. Snowden's reply to the news of his Russian citizenship came through a tweet -- hey, it's 2022 -- saying he wanted his family to stay together and sought privacy.
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The 39-year-old has been living in exile in Moscow after initially traveling to Hong Kong following his 2013 public disclosure of the classified information. He is facing up to 30 years in prison in the US.
The US State Department says that Edward Snowden should return to the US to face justice... of course.
I think the top tweet here explains it all, really.