Edward Snowden's Russian Adventure: 'Fearful'


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Edward Snowden is, to some, the most interesting man in the world for a variety of reasons. Yet Snowden is made infinitely more fascinating by his mystique; whatever opinions one might hold about him, nobody really knows anything about how he's going to carry on now that the secrets are out. What, exactly, is this traitorous coward/heroic whistleblower's life going to be like now that he's escaped the grasp of the United States?

According to the AFP, who spoke with Snowden's lawyer, he's as paranoid as Walter White. His address is secret, he's guarded most of the day, and although he comes out of his house sometimes, he's in disguise when he does.

Anatoly Kucherena, a high-profile legal advisor to Vladimir Putin working pro-bono on Snowden's case, has become his unofficial spokesperson since Snowden arrived in Russia, determined to avoid the media: "I am his only link with the outside world at the moment. Even his contacts with his parents are carried out through me," the lawyer said.

Although reporters pressed, Kucherena refused to say anything substantial about Snowden's lifestyle. Regarding his disguise, Kucherena said "He would walk past you and you wouldn't recognize him... It's a question of clothes and small alterations to his appearance... He really does walk freely around on the streets."

Kucherena did let slip one interesting piece of information: Edward Snowden can now speak Russian. "He is an extremely fast learner as far as the Russian language is concerned... He only needs a few hours or days to learn the ropes and start speaking," Kucherena said.

Snowden's father is expected to come to see his son in Russia, although Kucherena refused to confirm when it will happen or what Snowden may do: "the question of his future activities will be discussed at a family council... I can't give you certain dates but soon he will come to Russia and meet with his son." Snowden's father will most likely bring his mother and a grandparent with him.

Snowden's lawyer said that the family trip is a risk because U.S. intelligence officials could try some dirty tactics to find the Russian hideout. To cover security risks, Snowden has been paying a private security firm out-of-pocket, but is considering opening up a bank account to use donated funds since his personal wallet seems to be growing thin. Kucherena: "As long as the US side retains its grievances against Snowden, nothing can be ruled out."

When asked about his morale, Kucherena said that as isolated as Snowden's new lifestyle might be, he maintains no regrets and is not "disappointed... He believes he did everything right."

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]