US security leaker Edward Snowden is set to start a new job at a major Russian website, three months after the fugitive was given asylum in Russia, his lawyer said yesterday.
“Edward Snowden will start working at a big Russian company on Friday, Nov 1. His job will be to support and develop a major Russian website,” lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told Interfax news agency.
Kucherena declined to give the name of the firm, citing security concerns.
Speculation over the whistle-blower’s employer centred on Vkontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook, whose founder Pavel Durov publicly offered Snowden a post in August. Its press secretary, Georgy Lobushkin, told RIA Novosti news agency he could not comment. The agency reported that two other Russian internet firms Mail.Ru Group and Yandex said they had not hired the systems analyst.
Snowden received temporary asylum in Russia in August after exposing massive surveillance by the US National Security Agency. Since then he has been in hiding. His lawyer has said in interviews that the fugitive is running short of money. So far a supporters’ website has raised almost $49,000 (€36,060) in donations.
Popular Russian website Life News published a photograph yesterday apparently showing Snowden on a boat trip in central Moscow, without glasses and wearing a cloth cap.
The website said the photograph was taken in September and that it paid 100,000 rubles (€2,295) for the image.
The same website earlier this month published a photograph of Snowden pushing a shopping trolley, later confirmed as authentic by his lawyer.
The new photograph is much better quality and taken from a closer angle. It shows the landmark Moscow church of Christ the Saviour in the background and was taken on the Moskva River that flows past the Kremlin.
Life News, which has close contacts with law enforcement officials, said that the image “proves Snowden either lives permanently in Moscow or visits regularly”.
A video was released this month showing Snowden meeting four US whistleblowers, who presented him with an award in an unidentified location that appeared to be in Russia.
On Wednesday, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov questioned the sincerity of outrage at Snowden’s claims.
“I’m sure that everyone knew everything, or at least guessed,” he said.
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