Snowden gets temporary asylum in Russia, leaves airport

From The Wall Street Journal:  MOSCOW—National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden received temporary asylum in Russia and left Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport for an undisclosed location, raising the prospect that the most high-profile U.S. fugitive of recent years will remain in Russia for the foreseeable future.

Russia's decision to harbor Mr. Snowden is likely to weigh on an already frosty relationship with Washington and could derail a planned summit in Moscow between President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin scheduled for early September. For Mr. Snowden, Russia's hospitality could prove a mixed blessing, as the Kremlin has demanded he cease his "political activities" in order to stay in the country.


Mr. Snowden arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong on June 22. With the help of antisecrecy group WikiLeaks, he had been trying to reach Ecuador, where he was seeking asylum. Instead, he found himself stuck in Russia.

On Thursday, WikiLeaks issued a statement on Twitter thanking Russia. "We would like to thank the Russian people and all those others who have helped to protect Mr. Snowden," the group said. "We have won the battle—now the war."