Edward Snowden Becomes a Russian Expat

Edward Snowden, the US intelligence leaker who is currently on the run from American authorities, was granted one year’s asylum in Russia last week and will now live as a Russian expat for a year.

Currently wanted by the US as a result of leaking a collection of phone records from the National Security Agency, Edward Snowden has been granted refuge in Russia and will now start to build a new life, most probably in the country’s capital. His lawyer Anatoly Kucherena announced details of his plans to the press at the end of last week and revealed that Snowden will live with fellow American expats for a short period until he finds a suitable job and is able to rent his own apartment.

Commenting on Snowden’s situation, the lawyer said: “He needs to work. He is not a rich man, and the money that he had, he has of course, spent on food.

“Snowden is an expert, a very high-level expert and I am receiving letters from companies and citizens who would eagerly give him a job. He will not have any problems.”

According to local new agencies Snowden has already received some job offers, including one from the popular Russian social networking site VK.

However, as many expatriates who live in Russia may be all too aware, Snowden will need to be extremely cautious during his time in Russia, as his clear determination for transparency may be at complete odds with the laws and regulations that expats are expected to live by. For this reason he will need to be extremely careful about how he behaves and the things he says during his stay in Russia or he may be in danger of finding himself on the wrong side of the law. Discussing the way expats are expected to behave while living in Russia, Olga Bakushinskaya, a prominent Moscow journalist and blogger commented: “It is much too late to give (Snowden) advice on how to behave in Russia.

“If he can, he should make every effort to move somewhere else.”

Living in Russia requires determination, flexibility, an open mind, and plenty of patience. If you’re planning on relocating to Moscow then be sure to download our guide to living in Moscow. As well as practical advice on visas, living accommodation, education and networking, it contains everything you need to know about staying within the realms of the law and avoiding upsetting the authorities.