Putin grants Russian citizenship to former NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden

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  • Putin on Monday granted citizenship to former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
  • Snowden, 39, fled to Russia to evade federal prosecution after leaking confidential documents to reporters.
  • He was granted asylum in Russia in 2013 and later granted permanent residency. Since then he has remained in Russia.

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Washington: Russian President Vladimir Putin granted citizenship to former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden on Monday.

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Snowden’s name appears as one of about 70 foreign nationals. listed in a decree And approved by Putin for Russian citizenship.

The former NSA intelligence officer turned whistleblower to the US government fled to Hong Kong and later Russia to escape federal prosecution after leaking classified documents to journalists. He was granted asylum in Russia in 2013 and later granted permanent residency. Snowden, 39, has been in Russia since then.

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Putin’s decision to grant Snowden citizenship comes just days after he ordered nearly 300,000 people to join fighting in Ukraine.

Subsequent news reports of more than 7,000 classified documents revealed the inner workings of a massive US government surveillance campaign. intelligence officers said before Snowden may have taken 1.7 million classified files.

Stories published in The Guardian and The Washington Post exposed a massive government-run espionage program that monitored the communications of criminals, potential terrorists and law-abiding citizens. Other accounts documented how Washington secretly monitored some of America’s closest allies, such as the then German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Snowden was charged with theft of US government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and intentional communication of classified communications intelligence. The charges carry a prison sentence of up to 30 years.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said Washington’s position on the former US intelligence contractor had not changed. He said he was not aware of any change in Snowden’s US citizenship status.

Credit: www.cnbc.com /

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