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U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden granted Russian citizenship by Putin

Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden addresses attendees through video link at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon, Monday, Nov. 4, 2019. Snowden has been given Russian citizenship after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday granting him the passport. Armando Franca/AP

President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Monday granting Russian citizenship to former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

Snowden, 39, fled the United States and was given asylum in Russia after leaking secret files in 2013 that revealed vast domestic and international surveillance operations carried out by the U.S. National Security Agency where he was a contractor.

U.S. authorities have for years wanted Snowden returned to the United States to face a criminal trial on espionage charges.

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