Snowden gets job offer from Russia's version of Facebook

MOSCOW Thu Aug 1, 2013 2:19pm EDT

A man looks at a computer screen showing logos of Russian social network VKontakte in an office in Moscow May 24, 2013. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

A man looks at a computer screen showing logos of Russian social network VKontakte in an office in Moscow May 24, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - American fugitive Edward Snowden was offered a job by Russia's top social networking site on Thursday, hours after the former intelligence contractor received a year-long asylum in Russia.

"We invite Edward Snowden to Petersburg and will be happy if he decides to join the star team of programmers at VKontakte," Pavel Durov, one of the founders of the St. Petersburg-based VKontakte, Russia's answer to Facebook, said on his profile.

Snowden's temporary asylum papers allow him to work in Russia, according to Anatoly Kucherena, a lawyer close to the Russian authorities, who has been assisting the American.

Moscow has refused Washington's repeated requests to hand over the 30-year-old to face trial on espionage charges after he leaked details of secret U.S. surveillance programs involving phone and Internet data.

Seeking to avoid U.S. prosecution, Snowden arrived to Moscow from Hong Kong on June 23 has been stuck in the transit zone of the Sheremetyevo airport for more than a month before slipping out on Thursday with new refugee documents.

The spat over Snowden's fate has added to tensions between Russia and the United States, already at loggerheads over the conflict in Syria as well as other defense and human rights issues.

But Snowden is also a useful propaganda tool for Moscow, which often accuses Washington of preaching on human rights abroad what it does not practice at home.

Durov of VKontakte, or "InTouch", which says it has more than 210 million registered profiles and up to 47 million daily users, said he took pride in Russia's decision to harbor Snowden.

"Today Edward Snowden - the man who denounced U.S. security services' crimes against citizens of the whole world - received temporary asylum in Russia," Durov said.

"In such moments one feels pride with our country and regret over the course taken by United States - a country betraying the principles it was once built on," he added.

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Alissa de Carbonnel and Leslie Gevirtz)

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Comments (5)
it is very funny that russians accuse us crimes against citizens… snowden is good but what happened to pussy riot… russia is the last country in the world who can talk about their citizen rights and well being… we should go see the extent of humanity this drunk nation created in siberia…

Aug 01, 2013 2:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
UScitizentoo wrote:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
The failure by the president and congress to follow their oaths to the constitution has now certified this statement as accurate : ” .. Edward Snowden – the man who denounced U.S. security services’ crimes against citizens of the whole world …”
I hope that the congress members who voted to support and the president who pushed through this abortion of the constitution are now happy.

Aug 01, 2013 3:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
matt416 wrote:
“But Snowden is also a useful propaganda tool”

It’s not exactly propaganda if it’s true. Terrible reporting.

Aug 01, 2013 3:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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