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Putin Grants Russian Citizenship to US Whistleblower

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By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read

Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted former NSA contractor Edward Snowden citizenship in a new turn of events. 

Edward Snowden, a former US intelligence contractor, fled to Russia after the federal government was about to prosecute him. After fleeing to Russia, the former NSA contractor was granted asylum and later permanent residency

Snowden evaded federal prosecution after he leaked some highly classified documents to journalism experts.

Upon his Russian exile, news reports suggest that the former NSA intelligence officer might have taken over 7,000 classified documents with him. It is said that the documents taken by Snowden might reveal the inner activities that go on in the US government. 

However, intelligence officials have stated that Snowden's files with him in Russia might be up to 1.7 million classified files. 

What Snowden Has to Say? 

Edward Snowden disclosed in 2020 that he and his partner were working on getting Russian citizenship. It was also revealed that at the time of speaking, the wife of the former US intelligence contractor was pregnant. 

Snowden had said they were applying for Russian citizenship to prevent their future child from being separated in the era of pandemics. 

Many reports from news sources suggest that the primary reason why Russia granted him permanent residency rights in 2020 was to pave the way for him to become a citizen.

Speaking on the reason why he decided to get Russian citizenship, Snowden said that he longed to settle down with his family after a long time of separation. 

"After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our sons," Snowden said. 

Edward Snowden, whose name appears on the 72-man list where Putin granted Russian citizenship, said he prays for "a little privacy for his family – and for us all." 

Will Snowden be Recruited into the Russian Army? 

Many people have reacted to the news of Edward Snowden becoming a citizen of Russia. Some people suggest that the former NSA contractor might be drafted into the Russian army. 

President Putin had earlier ordered the mobilization of about 300 thousand men into the Russian army. 

Margarita Simonyan, the editor in chief of the state-owned broadcaster, has written on her Telegram channel saying, "will Snowden be mobilized?" 

Snowden's lawyer Anatoly Kucherena has told the state news agency that the chances of his client being drafted into the Russian army are very low. He claimed that Snowden had not previously served in the Russian army.

Edward Snowden had earlier said there was a low probability that the Russia-Ukraine war would start. 

Speaking on his failed prediction, "I've just lost any confidence I had that sharing my thinking on this particular topic continues to be useful because I called it wrong," he said. 

Will Snowden Return to the US?

Despite being granted permanent residency rights and now a Russian citizen, Snowden still keeps a low profile in the country. 

The whistle-blower only posts pictures of his family in Russia occasionally and has stopped speaking on US issues. 

However, Snowden had said in 2019 that if granted a fair trial, he would be willing to return to the United States.