00:07 GMT +315 October 2019
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    US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden

    Snowden's Russian Improves After Over 2 Years of Living in Russia

    © AFP 2019 / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND
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    Former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, currently residing in Russia, has learned a reasonable amount of Russian, the whistleblower's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Kucherena has represented Snowden since 2013, continuing to do so without charge.

    "Edward is fine. He is working and learning Russian. We can already talk with him on certain issues, which is positive," Kucherena told RIA Novosti.

    A chair is pictured on stage as former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
    © REUTERS / Svein Ove Ekornesvaag/NTB Scanpix
    Snowden's girlfriend visits him frequently, the lawyer said, adding that he could offer help with obtaining a residence permit for her should she decide to apply for one.

    In 2013, Snowden started revealing classified documents pertaining to mass surveillance practices carried out by US authorities around the globe. The same year, Russia granted the whistleblower temporary asylum for one year. In August 2014, Snowden received a three-year residence permit to live in Russia.

    In the United States, Snowden faces up to 30 years in prison on charges of espionage and theft of government property.

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    Tags:
    Russian language, National Security Agency (NSA), Anatoly Kucherena, Edward Snowden, United States, Russia
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