Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday granted Russian citizenship to Edward J. Snowden, the former US intelligence contractor who disclosed top-secret US surveillance programs.
Snowden was one of 75 foreigners to be granted citizenship by decree.
Snowden worked for the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013, publishing details of programs in the US and UK that capture communications and data from around the world. That same year, he fled to Russia to avoid prosecution in the US, where criminal charges are pending. Snowden, 39, applied for Russian citizenship in 2020.
“After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our sons,” he wrote on Twitter on Monday. He has 5.2 million Twitter followers.