President Vladimir Putin on Monday granted Russian citizenship to former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, nine years after he exposed the scale of secret surveillance operations by the National Security Agency (NSA).
Snowden, 39, fled the United States and was given asylum in Russia after leaking secret files in 2013 that revealed vast domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the NSA, where he worked.
U.S. authorities have for years wanted him returned to the United States to face a criminal trial on espionage charges.
Snowden’s name appeared without Kremlin comment in a Putin decree conferring citizenship on 72 foreign-born individuals.
Snowden later issued a message, essentially an updated version of a November 2020 tweet, saying he wanted his family to remain together and asking for privacy. (Read more from “Putin Grants Russian Citizenship to Edward Snowden” HERE)
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