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Edward Snowden's asylum in Russia extended

The NSA whistleblower can stay there for another three years and continue to avoid charges in the US of espionage and theft of government property.

Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has been living in Russia since 2013.
Barton Gellman/Getty Images

Edward Snowden, the US intelligence contractor turned whistleblower, can stay in Russia awhile longer. The Russian government on Wednesday extended his asylum for another three years.

Snowden arrived in Russia in 2013 after disclosing evidence of mass surveillance by the US and UK. The Russian government granted him asylum, with his permission to remain in the country due to expire this year.

The US has charged Snowden with espionage and theft of government property after he leaked secret materials he discovered while working for the National Security Agency. Despite a petition signed this month by a million supporters, it appears unlikely he will be pardoned by outgoing President Barack Obama.

On Tuesday, Obama commuted the sentence of another whistleblower, Chelsea Manning. Snowden tweeted his thanks for that decision.

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