Here’s a picture of Snowden’s new Russian transit papers

August 1, 2013

A screenshot from Russia's state broadcaster Russia 24, distributed by the Russia media outlet RT, shows Anatoly Kucherena displaying Edward Snowden's Russian transit papers. (Screenshot/Russia 24)

Edward Snowden has finally left Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, his Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told media there, flashing a photocopy of the NSA leaker's transit papers for a state media camera crew that was present.

The papers, which allowed Snowden to exit the airport for Russian soil, grant him one year of temporary asylum in the country. They were issued on Wednesday and will expire in exactly one year, on July 31, 2014.

A week ago, when it was briefly reported that Snowden would leave the airport, Kucherena had told the state-funded network RT, "He’s planning to arrange his life here. He plans to get a job. And, I think, that all his further decisions will be made considering the situation he found himself in." With Snowden struggling to travel elsewhere, staying in Russia may be his safest option.


Lawyer Anatoly Kucherena displays Snowden's transit papers to Russian media. (Screenshot of Russia 24 video)

To stay, though, Snowden may have to stick to terms laid out publicly by Russian President Vladimir Putin: that he "stop his work aimed at inflicting damage on our American partners." It's not clear precisely what would cross that threshold; the Guardian released further information sourced to Snowden on Wednesday, which didn't seem to hurt his asylum request.

Kucherena said that Snowden's location in Moscow would remain a secret for security reasons.

Update: Here's the full video from Russian state TV channel Russia 24 showing Kucherena with Snowden's papers:

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