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Edward Snowden gets Russian citizenship. Will he get drafted for the war?

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  • Whistleblower Edward Snowden was granted Russian citizenship on the 26th
  • Putin recently mobilized reserve troops
  • Protests have been reported in recruitment centers

Vladimir Putin granted permanent Russian citizenship to whistleblower Edward Snowden on Monday. Snowden who is 39, is a military-age male and Putin is looking for men to launch renewed attacks.

Edward Snowden is a former US citizen who leaked classified National Security Agency (NSA) information on mass surveillance on citizens, to the public in 2013. He was working with the NSA on a contractual basis. After the leaks, he sought asylum in Russia, which he was granted later on.

Snowden applied for Russian citizenship in 2020, when he and his wife Lindsay Mills were expecting their first baby. Apparently, their daughter is a Russian citizen since she was born on Russian soil. 

According to Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden will not get drafted because he has no service experience in the Russian army. Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson who broke the news about his citizenship, did not comment on whether he would fight.

Snowden had applied for an extension of asylum in 2020 because of rumors about being pardoned by Trump. Trump avoided the issue saying the matter should be left to the courts.

Former Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo and former National Security Adviser, John Bolton, wanted the death penalty for Snowden among others. Both were part of the Trump administration.

Russia has implemented Conscription since 1918. Approximately 400,000 men between the ages of 18 and 27 are recruited every year. 

Russian forces are struggling to hold annexed territories and gain new ground in Ukraine. Putin has threatened Ukraine with tactical (small scale) nuclear strikes if it retaliates. Acts of violence and protests have been reported in recruitment centers in Russia. According to a rights group, over 1300 people have been arrested in these protests.

Nancy J. Allen
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