US whistleblower Edward Snowden is now also a Russian citizen. For the time being, however, he cannot be called up for the war against Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin granted Russian citizenship to former US intelligence official Edward Snowden on September 26, 2022. This is reported by the Reuters news agency.
There was no immediate response to the naturalization from Snowden, who continues to actively tweet on surveillance issues. His name is on a list of 72 foreign-born people to whom Putin granted citizenship.
Snowden wanted dual citizenship
In November 2020, Snowden stated that he wanted to become a Russian citizen. "After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no interest in being separated from our son. This is why, in times of pandemics and closed borders, we are applying for dual US-Russian citizenship. "
Snowden announced at the time that he and his wife, Lindsay, wished to remain US citizens. Snowden went on to say that he wanted to raise his son with American values "that we love, including the right to free speech".
Speculations that the 39-year-old could now be drafted into the Russian army were rejected by his lawyer, Anatoly Kutscherena. Snowden cannot be recruited because he has not yet served in the Russian army, Kutscherena said, according to media reports from the Russian news agency Ria Novosti. Last week Putin ordered the partial mobilization of the Russian armed forces because the army had recently suffered setbacks in the war against Ukraine. Accordingly, 300,000 reservists are to be drafted. At the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine, Snowden declared that he did not want to comment on the subject.
In 2013, Snowden revealed the extent of electronic surveillance by the US secret service NSA. On the run, he was stranded at an airport in Moscow with a canceled US passport and applied for asylum in Russia, where he has lived ever since. In 2020, Russia granted Snowden permanent residency.
US authorities have been demanding for years that he return to the United States to face criminal charges of alleged espionage. Snowden himself has refused to return to the country for years because he fears he will not receive a fair trial there.