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Vladimir Putin grants Russian citizenship to Edward Snowden

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President Vladimir Putin has granted Russian citizenship to former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, nine years after he exposed the scale of secret surveillance operations by the National Security Agency (NSA). U.S. authorities have for years wanted him returned to the United States to face a criminal trial on espionage charges.

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Key points:

  • Snowden, a former employee of the U.S. National Security Agency, has been living in Russia since 2013 to escape prosecution in the US after leaking classified documents detailing government surveillance programs.
  • He was granted permanent Russian residency in 2020 and said at the time that he planned to apply for Russian citizenship without renouncing his U.S. citizenship.
  • Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti that the former contractor’s wife Lindsay Mills, an American who has been living with him in Russia, will also be applying for a Russian passport. The couple had a child in December 2020.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Russia Capital: Moscow;
  • Russia Currency: Rubel;
  • Russia President: Vladimir Putin.

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