On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin granted citizenship to Edward Snowden, a former U.S. intelligence contractor who leaked classified information about government surveillance programs in 2013.
After disclosing classified information to journalists, Edward Snowden, who was a former National Security Agency intelligence officer turned U.S. government whistleblower, fled the United States and went to Hong Kong before fleeing to Russia in order to avoid federal prosecution. In 2013, he was given asylum in Russia and permanent residency status later that year. Since then, Mr. Snowden, 39 years-old has been living in Russia.
Putin has granted Russian citizenship to approximately 70 foreign persons, including Edward Snowden.
Just days after ordering approximately 300,000 people to join the fight in Ukraine, Putin decided to grant Snowden citizenship.