Edward Snowden Is Already Getting Job Offers in Russia

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 1 2013 3:31 PM

Edward Snowden's First Day as a Free Man in Russia Involved Offers of Jobs—and Women

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A woman watches a footage on her computer, showing the lawyer of fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden showing his client's one year's asylum permit at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow on August 1, 2013

Photo by STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

The New Republic's Julia Ioffe spoke with Edward Snowden's self-appointed Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, on the heels of the NSA leaker's release into the Russian wild today. Ioffe paints a somewhat grim picture of the future that awaits Snowden now that he's out of the Sheremetyevo Airport. Kucherena, however, offers a more half-full take on what awaits the former U.S. contractor—namely job offers and women:

"I have to say he's getting a lot of job offers coming in," Kucherena said. "Offers from journalists to work together, and the like. I've passed them on to him, he'll make the decision himself." One place that had made an offer, Kucherena added, was VKontakte, Russia's Facebook rip-off, which also gives users access to a massive trove of pirated music, TV shows, and movies. Pavel Durov, VKontakte's founder, has been fighting off official pressure—prosecutorial summons, searches—in part because the internet wilds of VKontakte are one of the last bastions of freedom in Russia, and the opposition does a lot of its organizing through VKontakte, which is Russia's largest social network. In the last year or so, the government wanted to muscle in, and get a share of the company in order to exercise some control over it. So far, Durov has fought them off effectively, including today's court decision not to charge VKontakte under a new anti-piracy law. How's that for irony?
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Kucherena didn't stop there, telling Russia Today that Snowden appears to have some other, less corporate offers as well: “When I told him about the people who were calling him, including girls, such Russian girls, he told me ‘Anatoly, I still miss my girlfriend.’” Setting Snowden's love life aside for now, he's likely in need of a job. He blew through a large chunk of his savings paying for his lengthy stay in the airport hotel, according to Kucherena.

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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