Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday granting Russian citizenship to former Nationwide Safety Company contractor Edward Snowden.
Driving the information: Snowden fled america and was given asylum in Russia after revealing categorized paperwork in regards to the U.S. authorities’s mass surveillance program in 2013.
- Snowden was granted everlasting residency in Russia in October 2020, however his attorneys mentioned on the time that he was not contemplating making use of for Russian citizenship.
Context: After a two-year bipartisan investigation, the Home intelligence committee issued a report in 2016, refuting claims that Snowden acted as a privateness whistleblower when he eliminated 1.5 million categorized paperwork from safe NSA networks.
- The report known as Snowden’s actions “the most important and most damaging public launch of categorized info in U.S. intelligence historical past.”
The leak “prompted super harm to nationwide safety, and the overwhelming majority of the paperwork he stole don’t have anything to do with applications impacting particular person privateness pursuits — they pertain as a substitute to navy, protection, and intelligence applications of nice curiosity to America’s adversaries.”
- Snowden replied to the discharge of the report with a sequence of Tweets, which had been posted on the Russian web information outlet RT.com: “Unsurprising that HPSCI’s report is rifled [sic] with apparent falsehoods. The one shock is how by accident exonerating it’s.”
- Former President Donald Trump mentioned in 2020 that he would take a “excellent look” at pardoning Snowden, prompting bipartisan rebuke.
State of play: The decree comes as Russia has suffered a sequence of stinging losses in Ukraine on the again of a profitable and fast counteroffensive launched by Ukrainian forces this month.
Editor’s notice: This story has been up to date with extra particulars.