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Fugitive Edward Snowden Asks Russia For Asylum

The US intelligence whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has applied for temporary asylum in Russia, according to his lawyer.
The former National Security Agency worker has been holed up at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport since June 23 after leaking details of US surveillance programmes.
Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said he had met Snowden on Tuesday and "the application has been filed with the Russian authorities".
Wikileaks, the whistleblowing website, has been supporting Snowden and confirmed in a post on Twitter: "Edward Snowden today has filed for a temporary protection visa with Russia's ministry of immigration."
Washington has urged Moscow to return the 30-year-old to the US, where he is wanted on espionage charges after revealing details of secret surveillance programmes.
Speaking to human rights activists last week, after three weeks of silence Snowden said he planned to apply for temporary asylum in Russia until he had won "safe passage" to Latin America, where three countries have offered him political asylum.
Snowden has been able to remain at the airport transit lounge for so long after fleeing Hong Kong, because technically it is not Russian territory.
However, Russian President Vladimir Putin has made clear that Snowden can only stay in Russia if he "stops damaging our US partners".
Sky's Moscow Correspondent Katie Stallard said that Snowden's application for asylum was a "PR coup for Russia".
She said: "It makes Russia look like the only country strong enough to stand up to the US and protect this young man but also that he (Putin) is doing the US a favour.
"Yes he might be going to take this man in but he will do so by shutting him up by stopping him from passing on any more of America's secrets so it's a bit of a win: win for the Russian President."
On Monday Mr Putin accused the US of "trapping" Snowden in Russia, saying no other country wanted to take him because of pressure exerted by America.
Snowden has consistently made it clear that he does not intent to stay in Russia but eventually wants to move to a Latin American country.
However, the prospects of him successfully travelling there appear doubtful.
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