Russians show only passing interest in Snowden affair, Web analytics find

Russian searches for Edward Snowden's name have fallen steadily since June. (Google)

Snowden’s asylum is making headlines in the U.S. today but, judging by Web search analytics, Russians seem much less interested in his story.

That’s according to search data from Google and Yandex, the search engines most popular among Russian Internet-users. Russians search for the term “Snowden” about 18 percent less than the average query, Yandex reports, and they search “сноуден,” the Cyrillic version of Snowden’s name, only slightly more than average -- which indicates, per Yandex, no "special attention" to the topic.

What’s more, Google data suggest that Russians tired of Snowden’s saga soon after he promised to seek asylum there -- and interest in the story hasn’t really recovered since.

The blue line indicates search interest in the Cyrillic version of Snowden's name; the red line is for English searches. (Google)

The data may suggest that Russians simply don’t find Snowden’s case terribly controversial -- a poll reported today by the state-funded RIA Novosti news agency found that that only 3 percent of Russians “totally disapprove” of Snowden’s actions, while most felt positive or indifferent towards his asylum.

On Thursday, a Kremlin official dismissed Snowden’s case as “relatively insignificant” -- a characterization most Russians would, apparently, agree with.

Correction: An earlier version of this post looked at Google search volume for "“сноуденa,” which means "of Snowden" -- not "Snowden," which most people would probably search. The post has been updated with numbers and charts for the correct term. 


Caitlin Dewey is The Post’s digital culture critic. Follow her on Twitter @caitlindewey or subscribe to her daily newsletter on all things Internet. (



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