posted at 03:50
Author Name: Agence France Presse
Snowden A Recluse One Year On After Receiving Russia asylum
Fugitive US intelligence agent Edward Snowden marked on Thursday one year of political asylum in Russia, where he continues to live a life shrouded in mystery amid a dearth of public appearances. In April, Snowden made a shock appearance on an annual question and answer session with President Vladimir Putin, probing the Kremlin strongman on the surveillance of Russia's population. Snowden's lawyer Kucherena said on Tuesday that the fugitive still feared for his life. As hopes dwindle that he may be able to return to the US or obtain asylum in Brazil - which he has sought - Snowden has asked for an extension of his residency permit in Russia, which expires on Thursday. An American lawyer who has advised Snowden said that he is likely to stay in Russia for the time being. Analysts believe Snowden is still useful to Russia, both practically and politically. "The very presence of Snowden is of symbolic importance to Russia," said political scientist Alexei Makarkin. "Snowden has become a symbol of the struggle for freedom, and that's useful for Russia. Today, that's one of the strongest arguments could put to the international community" as relations with the West deteriorate, he said.

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