Editor’s Note: It’s a sad fact that Russia may be the safest place for Edward Snowden, at least for the foreseeable future. He would probably disappear into a black bag if he entered any country that the U.S. has under its thumb.
Edward Snowden may be in Russia for a little while longer.
The former NSA contractor, who leaked 1.7 million top-secret documents that exposed the agency’s massive surveillance tactics, petitioned Russia for an extension on his asylum, according to his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena.
“The procedure is very simple if a citizen of any country would like to stay and live in Russia. In this case we are talking about Snowden, so we have fulfilled the procedure to receive temporary asylum,” Kucherena said on Wednesday, according to Russian state media.
Snowden fled to Russia in June 2013 shortly after he came forward as the source of Glenn Greenwald’s explosive report about an NSA program called PRISM. He remained in Moscow’s airport for weeks as he applied for asylum in more than 20 other countries. While Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia had expressed willingness to accept him, the United States pressured countries to deny him refuge.