Trapped in Russia, Edward Snowden Applies for Asylum

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 1 2013 1:15 PM

Russia It Is: Edward Snowden Applies for Asylum

Ukrainian Internet Party activists hold a 'tap the phone and internet lines' protest on June 27, 2013 outside the US Embassy in Kiev to attract public attention to the violation of rights following the United States Internet surveillance program exposed by former spy Edward Snowden (on photos). Snowden has applied for asylum in Russia.

Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images

Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker currently trapped in Moscow’s Sheremyetova Airport with a revoked U.S. passport, has applied for asylum in Russia, reports the New York Times. The move comes after a week of studied equivocation by Russian officials, who are clearly hesitant to upset U.S.–Russian relations by granting the fugitive a safe home. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that Snowden "must stop his work aimed at harming our American partners" as a condition for Snowden's continued Russian residency. (Putin also noted the irony of such a proviso "coming from [his] lips.")

If Russia doesn’t pan out for Snowden, he has a backup—15, actually. Yet the country heretofore considered Snowden’s best hope, Ecuador, has been increasingly evasive on the matter. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has stated that Snowden must apply for asylum in Ecuador or at an Ecuadorean Embassy, a considerable challenge for a man currently trapped in a Russian airport.


Snowden has been eyeing Ecuador since the beginning of his flight from justice. The country’s London embassy currently houses WikiLeaks mastermind Julian Assange, whose group has been aiding Snowden in his hunt for asylum.  

Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers science, the law, and LGBTQ issues.



Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
Future Tense
Sept. 21 2014 11:38 PM “Welcome to the War of Tomorrow” How Futurama’s writers depicted asymmetrical warfare.
  Health & Science
The Good Word
Sept. 21 2014 11:44 PM Does This Name Make Me Sound High-Fat? Why it just seems so right to call a cracker “Cheez-It.”
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.