Nation & World News

Snowden’s Flight To Russia May Not Have Been Such A Shock

By Mark Memmott on August 27th, 2013

Did “NSA leaker” Edward Snowden really surprise Russian officials when he showed up at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on June 23?

Maybe not.

The Associated Press writes that, according to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, a Russian goverment official says that “Snowden appeared at the Russian Consulate in Hong Kong on his own initiative two days before the flight, showed his Aeroflot ticket and asked for help.”

The Washington Post adds that Kommersant also says Snowden, “spent several days living at the Russian Consulate in Hong Kong” before his flight to Moscow.

The report raises questions about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that Snowden’s decision to go to Moscow was a “complete surprise” to Russian authorities.

Kommersant‘s reporting also sheds some new light on what happened on July 11 when there was much speculation that Snowden would be on a flight from Moscow to Havana. The AP writes that Kommersant:

“Citing several ‘informed’ sources, said that Cuba informed Russia that the Aeroflot flight from Moscow would not be allowed to land in Havana if Snowden were on board, citing pressure from the United States. A source identified as someone ‘close to the State Department’ confirmed to the paper that Cuba was among a number of countries that had been warned not to provide assistance to Snowden.”

Snowden is the former National Security Agency contractor who The Guardian and The Washington Post say has been the source of leaks about NSA surveillance programs that they have reported about. He’s been given temporary asylum in Russia. The U.S., which hopes to prosecute Snowden, wants to see him extradited. Snowden and his supporters say he’s a whistle blower who has exposed wrong-doing.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Supreme Court Clears Way For Same-Sex Marriages In Florida

The Supreme Court declined to extend a stay on a ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle, who said in August that Florida’s 2008 ban is unconstitutional. The stay expires in January.


CEO Says Sony Pictures ‘Did Not Capitulate,’ Is Exploring Options

Melissa Block talks to Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton about the cyber attack against his company and the cancellation of the Christmas Day release of The Interview.


Actor James Franco (left), seen here with The Interview co-star Seth Rogen, was called "James Flacco" by President Obama Friday. Afterward, the jokes poured in.

Obama Says ‘James Flacco.’ The Internet Says, Thank You

It was an honest mistake. But when President Obama said “James Flacco” when referring to James Franco — on a Friday before the holidays, no less — the slip was eagerly received online.


Smoke rises from the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal burning power plant in in Colstrip, Mont., in September. New EPA guidelines treat toxic coal ash from such plants much the same as common household garbage.

New EPA Standards Label Toxic Coal Ash Non-Hazardous

Environmental groups had sought to have coal ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants, regulated as hazardous waste.


"I didn't want to fire things up," St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch says of his silence since announcing the grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

St. Louis Grand Jury Heard Witnesses Who Lied, Prosecutor Says

Weeks after he announced a grand jury’s decision not to indict a Ferguson, Mo., police officer in Michael Brown’s death, prosecutor Robert McCulloch explains some of his own decisions in the case.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments