Snowden swears allegiance to Russia, receives passport: lawyer

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, who received international attention after leaking classified information about US government surveillance programs, has sworn his allegiance to Russia, where he has been living in exile since 2013, state media reported Friday.

Snowden attorney Anatoly Kucherena confirmed the news to the state-run media outlet TASS, saying his client had been granted a Russian passport.

Kucherena said he had seen Snowden the previous day and he was doing well.

Russian President Vladimir Putin russian-citizenship/” data-ylk=”slk:granted Snowden citizenship” class=”link “Granted Snowden citizenship in September; the Russian government had given him snowden-given-permanent-residency-in-russia-attorney/” data-ylk=”slk:permanent residency” class=”link “permanent residency in 2020. Snowden said at the time that he would work to maintain dual US-Russian citizenship and not renounce his US passport.

Kucherena told TASS that Snowden’s wife, Lindsey Mills, is currently applying for Russian citizenship as well.

Russia’s Interfax news agency reported that Kucherena said Snowden is grateful that he is now a full-fledged citizen. Kucherena said that Snowden can no longer be extradited to a foreign state.

Snowden has been vocally critical about US policies on Twitter but mostly quiet about Russia’s widely denounced invasion of Ukraine this year. He lives in Moscow with Mills and their two children.

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Lawyer: Brittney Griner Not ‘Absolutely Convinced’ USA Will Be Able to Bring Her Home | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

US' Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, waits for the verdict inside a defendants' cage during a hearing in Khimki outside Moscow, on August 4 , 2022. - A Russian court found Griner guilty of smuggling and storing narcotics after prosecutors requested a sentence of nine and a half years in jail for the athlete.  (Photo by EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA / POOL / AFP) (Photo by EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)


Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner is facing a nine-year prison sentence in Russia, and she is reportedly not optimistic about her chances to be freed and return home to the United States.

Griner’s lawyer recently provided an update on her condition to Valerie Hopkins and Michael Crowley of Yahoo Sports.

“She is not yet absolutely convinced that America will be able to take her home,” Alexander D. Boykov said. “She is very worried about what the price of that will be, and she is afraid that she will have to serve the whole sentence here in Russia.”

Boykov said Griner “has not been in as good condition as I could sometimes find her in.” The 31-year-old, who has been detained for 238 days, is allowed outside only once per day and spends the rest of her time in a small cell with two cellmates.

“She suffers a lot without her family because she hasn’t seen them for so long and it’s very difficult to talk to them in any way,” Boykov said. He stated that Griner has been unable to speak with her parents or siblings since being detained, and it’s also been very difficult to arrange phone calls with her wife, Cherelle.

A Russian court convicted Griner of drug possession charges in August after she was stopped at an airport near Moscow for carrying two vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage in February. At the time, she was on her way to play for UMMC Yekaterinburg, a Russian professional women’s basketball team she has represented during WNBA offseasons since 2014.

The United States designated Griner as “wrongfully detained” in May and has maintained that her detention and trial are politically motivated.

Per Hopkins and Crowley, US President Joe Biden said Wednesday

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