In what is being described as a surprising move, Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted Russian citizenship to Edward Snowden.
The high-profile security contractor of the US has been hiding in exile after being wanted by the US for covertly collecting data belonging to millions of US citizens, sources revealed.
Hence, Snowden opted to leave the US forever and has since them been living in Russia since the year 2013 to help escape prosecution in the country.
Sources spoke in detail about how he was wanted for espionage after leaking plenty of details of the NSA’s hidden data program.
The former contractor is just one of 75 foreign nationals that are getting Russian citizenship under this new decree that has shocked millions.
His wife the mother of his child will reportedly be applying for citizenship too, sources revealed.
Snowden has been living in a state of exile ever since he chose to go public with the mega trove of documents seen in the year 2013.
The 39-year-old ex-staff member from NSA has been residing in Russia to get away from prosecution in the country as sharing classified documents of such sensitive nature is a true crime and invasion of privacy. This included detailed surveillance conducted by the American government with the famous media outlet from the UK called The Guardian.
At first, in 2020, he was given permanent residency and he did go public with his decision to apply for Russian citizenship. He also mentioned that he would not be denouncing his US citizenship.
Russia was seen first giving him asylum in the year 2014 and has refused calls to extradite him to the US.
If convicted on charges linked to espionage, he could soon face up to 30 years in jail, sources revealed.
The couple also had a child in December of 2020 and has been keeping a low profile in Russia.