Edward Snowden obtains permanent resident status in Russia

Former CIA and NSA Edward Snowden took refuge in Russia after leaking confidential documents on mass surveillance in the United States in 2013. PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP

Text by: RFI Follow

2 min

Edward Snowden is always talked about.

Seven years after his arrival in Russia, he has just obtained permanent resident status.

This is the last step before obtaining Russian citizenship, but for now, he does not want to go that far.


Read more

Edward Snowden's dream is to return to the United States, but on one condition: that he can be guaranteed a fair trial.

He considers that these conditions are currently not met. 

Before his arrival at the White House, Donald Trump wanted to have Edward Snowden executed and still spoke of him as an “ 

absolute traitor

 ” who had to be condemned as harshly as possible during the presidential campaign of 2016. But the American president, in the month of August this year, 

said he was ready to take a look at his requests for pardon.

Fuzzy statements and a grace that is far from certain for Edward Snowden, who is under no illusions.

It recognizes at most a beginning of normalization with the American administration.

In the meantime, he still lives in an undisclosed location in Moscow, which he describes as a beautiful city.

He continues to be very active on Twitter where he campaigns in favor of civil liberties and 

published his memoirs last year

in a book with 70,000 copies in France. 

And when American elected officials accuse him of now working for the Russian intelligence services, he denies and does not hesitate to criticize Vladimir Poutine.

In Russia as elsewhere, he said, it will never be the people the problem, but always the government.


Receive all the international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


  • Russia

  • United States

On the same subject

International guest

Edward Snowden: "A Whistleblower Like No Other"