Lawyer Says 'Lonely' Snowden Living on Donations

Nov. 13 2013 — 00:00
Lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who is helping Snowden with daily household issues. Maxim Stulov

U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has used up most of his money for food, rent and private bodyguards, and is living on donations from public organizations and ordinary Russians, his lawyer said in an interview published Tuesday.

Anatoly Kucherena said he is helping the former NSA defense contractor with daily household issues, finding it "impossible to refuse him, because he is absolutely alone in Russia," Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported.

"He doesn't have his mom, or dad, or relatives, or anybody here," the lawyer said.

Kucherena said at the end of last month that Snowden had found a job with a major Russian website, which he declined to name "for security reasons." But it appears that Snowden is yet to receive his first paycheck.

"He has used up virtually all the savings that he had for food, housing rent, bodyguards and so on," the lawyer said. "Some organizations and active citizens are providing him with what help they can afford, including financial assistance."

"With his professional skills in IT technologies, he can have a bright future in any country in the world," Kucherena added. "But if he leaves Russia, he will lose his refugee status."

After spending much of the summer in limbo at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, Snowden was granted a one-year temporary refugee status that allows him to work in Russia and enjoy all the other rights of a citizen, except the right to vote or be employed by some of the state agencies.

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