The former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who exposed the scale of secret surveillance by the National Security Agency NSA, sworn an oath of allegiance to Russia and received a Russian passport, TASS reported on Friday. Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said he got a passport that he took the oath.
In September, President Vladimir Putin granted Russian citizenship to Snowden, who fled the United States after leaking secret files that revealed the extensive eavesdropping activities of the United States and its allies.
Defenders of Snowden hail him as a modern day dissident for exposing the extent of US spying. Opponents say he is a traitor who endangered lives by exposing the secret methods that Western spies use to listen in on hostile states and militants.