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article imageEd Snowden gets entry papers for Russia, leaves Moscow airport

By Anne Sewell     Aug 1, 2013 in World
Moscow - Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower has been issued papers to allow him into Russian territory, according to his legal representative. Reportedly, he has already left Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport. (Updated).
Legal representative Anatoly Kucherena told Interfax: “I have just handed over to him papers from the Russian Immigration Service. They are what he needs to leave the transit zone.”
He further said that Snowden "is in a safe place."
An RT crew on the scene confirms that Snowden has, indeed, already left the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.
Digital Journal has been following the ongoing story of Snowden, former CIA employee and NSA contractor.
He made the news when he leaked several classified documents, revealing massive electronic surveillance by the US government and various foreign allies, to the press. He passed the information on first to the Guardian journalist, Glenn Greenwald. The revelations caused an uproar worldwide.
Initially Snowden took refuge in a hotel in Hong Kong, where he first went public back in May. After US pressure on local authorities and Beijing to hand over the whistleblower for prosecution, Snowden fled to Moscow on June 23.
Initially Moscow was supposed to be a temporary stopover, possibly en route to Ecuador via Cuba. However, when the US government revoked his passport, he became stranded in the Sheremetyevo Airport, where he has been languishing in the airport’s transit zone ever since.
After applying for asylum in several different countries, finally in July Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia. This would allow him to live and work in the country for one year.
According to Kucherena, Snowden has been considering applying for permanent residency in the country in order to settle down and build a life.
Update:
Snowden left the airport at around 15.30 Moscow time (11.30 GMT) on Thursday.
His current location will not be disclosed, according to Kucherena, adding that “He is the most wanted person on earth and his security will be a priority.”
The lawyer added that. “He will deal with personal security issues and lodging himself. I will just consult him as his lawyer.”
Kucherena said that Snowden will talk to the media in Russia, but that he needs at least one day of privacy.
According to the lawyer, Snowden left the airport unaccompanied, in a regular taxi. However, WikiLeaks contradicts this, stating that the organization’s activist Sarah Harrison accompanied Snowden. Harrison has been with the whistleblower since his arrival in Moscow.
WikiLeaks Twitter feed about Edward Snowden leaving Moscow Airport.
WikiLeaks Twitter feed about Edward Snowden leaving Moscow Airport.
Twitter screengrab
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