No, it doesn’t sound like it’ll be a hardship in exile for leaker Edward Snowden in Russia, where he has been granted limited asylum. According to The New Republic’s Julia Iofee, he already has job (and personal) offers coming in:
Last week, [Anatoly Kucherena, Russian senator and Edward Snowden’s self-appointed lawyer] Kucherena announced that Snowden was planning on settling in Russia and looking for work. Today, he clarified what he meant.
“I have to say he’s getting a lot of job offers coming in,” Kucherena said. “Offers from journalists to work together, and the like. I’ve passed them on to him, he’ll make the decision himself.” One place that had made an offer, Kucherena added, was VKontakte, Russia’s Facebook rip-off, which also gives users access to a massive trove of pirated music, TV shows, and movies. Pavel Durov, VKontakte’s founder, has been fighting off official pressure—prosecutorial summons, searches—in part because the internet wilds of VKontakte are one of the last bastions of freedom in Russia, and the opposition does a lot of its organizing through VKontakte, which is Russia’s largest social network. In the last year or so, the government wanted to muscle in, and get a share of the company in order to exercise some control over it. So far, Durov has fought them off effectively, including today’s court decision not to charge VKontakte under a new anti-piracy law. How’s that for irony?
Kucherena also told Russia Today about some other new friends calling and asking for Snowden: Russian girls. Or, as Kucherena put it, “such [sexy? beautiful? pliant?] Russian girls.” “He told me, ‘Anatoly, I still miss my girlfriend.’”
And, of course, somewhere along the line we will most likely see an announcement of some kind of book deal and/or movie deal, whether it’d be based from a U.S. company or not. A new life is beginning in more ways than one for Edward Snowden…
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.