back to article NSA super-leaker Edward Snowden granted Russian citizenship

Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor and self-described whistleblower, has been granted Russian citizenship. On Monday, Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, issued a decree [PDF, not secure] naming Snowden (#53), among others, as being granted the boon of Russian citizenship. After years of separation …

  1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    In your best Nelson voice: Ha Ha.

    1. sreynolds

      Front line infantry, front line infantry....

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Yeah. Also I'm sure it won't be long before Putin goes full Stalin and deploys hardline psychos behind the front line to machine gun the fuck out of anyone facing the wrong way.

        Need a karma's a bitch icon.

        1. d3vy

          "Need a karma's a bitch icon"

          So you're ok with the US government illegally spying on its own citizens (and everyone else) because thats what he exposed - the government spying on you and your family.

      2. elregidente

        I logged in specifically to downvote this repellent comment.

  2. CommonBloke

    Reports suggest the mobilization order will disproportionately affect ethnic minorities in Russia

    Who'd have thought that a psychopath dictator would take this opportunity to "cleanse" "his" country of "undesirables"? I miss the times when this kind of stuff was pure scifi of absurdly oppressive regimes, like the Imperium of Man.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      More than "undesirable", they are "expendable" - their deaths won't cause much troubles, as they come from poorer, less populated and isolated areas. Those areas never interested the Russian elites - they didn't even "colonized" them - they always preferred to dissipate their money in Paris or London, and treat them as cattle.

      1. GNU SedGawk Bronze badge

        Bullshit, They called up people with prior combat experience to rotate through their forces.

        Ukraine is on its 6th mobilization, it's disappointed to see so many people can't see the plain facts that the East of Ukraine becoming part of Russia, is something that the people of the East of Ukraine, prefer to being murdered by Kiev linked Ukrainian Fascist Nationalists and the conscripts under their command.

        In 2015 this was published

        In mid-January the tit-for-tat sniping and small skirmishes escalated into larger-scale fighting at the airport, and Kiev’s forces resumed artillery strikes by inaccurate Grad rocket systems on cities such as Donetsk. The renewed full-scale fighting scuttled a planned meeting of the Minsk Memorandum group of negotiators scheduled for January 16th. On the same day Russian President Putin sent a message to Poroshenko suggesting that all heavy artillery be pulled back beyond striking distance, so the already escalating small-scale fighting would not escalate again into full-scale civil war, but, according to Putin, Kiev rejected the proposal ( Kiev has not commented. Fighting then spread alone the front and briefly emerged in the south at Mariupol, where an apparent DNR artillery barage hit a residential area killing 30 and wounding 100 on January 24th.

        In response President Poroshenko announced an additional mobilization of 100,000 fighting age Ukrainians, prompting a wave of draft evasion. Subsequent events showed the regime’s inability to enforce its draft law and society’s growing disengagement from the war and Maidan regime.

        I highly recommend Mearsheimer who has a great primer on the roots of the civil war.

        A background on what is going on has to start here

        Then here

        1. elregidente

          I'm here in Kyiv.

          Talking to the people here, the revolution had nothing to do with nationalism.

          It was - as it always is - a desire to end oppression and corruption; to have a future.

          Yanukovych was Putin's creature. After the failure of violence against the protest, he fled to Russia, and almost immediately afterwards, the Russian movement of forces into the Donbas region began.

          1. GNU SedGawk Bronze badge

            The US Backed coup[3] empowered Nazis[1] who are shelling a nuclear power plant[2]

            [1] Nazis

            In a statement, the Russian Ministry of Defense said that combatants from the Ukrainian neo-Nazi Aidar Battalion have been firing weapons from the Svyato-Uspensky Nikolo-Vasilievsky Monastery in Nikolskoy, a village in Donetsk, where they have been "holding around 300 locals and monks hostage."

            The Aidar Battalion's motto is inspired by the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler's dictatorship state from the 1930s through the 1940s.

            Upon this offensive, the Russian troops moved in and killed some of the combatants, while others fled. In their statement, the ministry said that "the hostages were not hurt and the monastery was not damaged.”

            Meanwhile, in Kharkov, Ukraine's second-largest city, militants from the Azov Battalion, an openly neo-Nazi armed group part of the Ukrainian security forces, have been blending in with civilians disguising themselves in civilian clothes and the Ukrainian army's uniform.


            [2] Shelling NPP

            Every Russian soldier who either shoots at the station or shoots under the cover of the station must understand that they are becoming a special target for our intelligence, for our special services, for our army,’ said Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy,


            [3] US Backed Coup

            The reality is that, after two decades of eastward Nato expansion, this crisis was triggered by the west's attempt to pull Ukraine decisively into its orbit and defence structure, via an explicitly anti-Moscow EU association agreement. Its rejection led to the Maidan protests and the installation of an anti-Russian administration – rejected by half the country – that went on to sign the EU and International Monetary Fund agreements regardless.

            No Russian government could have acquiesced in such a threat from territory that was at the heart of both Russia and the Soviet Union. Putin's absorption of Crimea and support for the rebellion in eastern Ukraine is clearly defensive, and the red line now drawn: the east of Ukraine, at least, is not going to be swallowed up by Nato or the EU.

            But the dangers are also multiplying. Ukraine has shown itself to be barely a functioning state: the former government was unable to clear Maidan, and the western-backed regime is "helpless" against the protests in the Soviet-nostalgic industrial east. For all the talk about the paramilitary "green men" (who turn out to be overwhelmingly Ukrainian), the rebellion also has strong social and democratic demands: who would argue against a referendum on autonomy and elected governors?

            Meanwhile, the US and its European allies impose sanctions and dictate terms to Russia and its proteges in Kiev, encouraging the military crackdown on protesters after visits from Joe Biden and the CIA director, John Brennan. But by what right is the US involved at all, incorporating under its strategic umbrella a state that has never been a member of Nato, and whose last elected government came to power on a platform of explicit neutrality? It has none, of course – which is why the Ukraine crisis is seen in such a different light across most of the world. There may be few global takers for Putin's oligarchic conservatism and nationalism, but Russia's counterweight to US imperial expansion is welcomed, from China to Brazil.

            In fact, one outcome of the crisis is likely to be a closer alliance between China and Russia, as the US continues its anti-Chinese "pivot" to Asia. And despite growing violence, the cost in lives of Russia's arms-length involvement in Ukraine has so far been minimal compared with any significant western intervention you care to think of for decades.


            1. Mooseman Silver badge


              The US Backed coup[3] empowered Nazis["

              I love how your justification for this is "according to Putin". So you are actually trying to justify the Russian invasion of Ukraine based on the ridiculous idea that there were actual Nazis in control (Zelensky is jewish by the way)?

              "Putin's absorption of Crimea and support for the rebellion in eastern Ukraine is clearly defensive"

              You do know that Ukraine was refused NATO membership, don't you? Even if it was part of NATO why is that a threat to Russia? NATO is a defensive organisation specifically set up to counter aggression from...oh yes, the Soviet Union, aka Russia.

              Sorry, you have swallowed some weapons grade bullshit.

              It reminds me of the convoluted attempts by the British Communist party in 1939 to explain why they were now supporting nazi Germany following Russia's inasion of Poland.

              The Azov battalion is, or was, about 2000 strong. I'm sure you can work out percentages of that vs the whole ukraine military yourself. While you're at it you could look up the Wagner group and their delightful activities, and why they are "recruiting" long term inmates from prisons. How about the mass burials of civilians in russian held areas who were all shot at close quarters and often tied?

              No doubt you consider the referenda in the occupied regions of Ukraine as free and fair - those 99% + votes in favour of joining Russia are all genuine, I'm sure...

              1. GNU SedGawk Bronze badge

                Typical hasbra - Cut the quote from Zelensky where he's shelling a nuke plant. Throw in the conflation of his Zionism with Judaism - He's openly called for Genocide of the Palestinians People.

                The Azov, Adair, C14, RightSector and the assorted Banderists numbers about 10% of the population, but occupy the seats of power, perhaps your prefer the Western Media

                Ukraine's Nazi problem is real, even if Putin's 'denazification' claim isn't


                Or Parliament in England

                That this House is deeply concerned by the reporting by the BBC of the Kiev-based organisation C14, a far right organisation with neo-Nazi origins; considers the reporting of C14 activities fails to uphold BBC editorial values; is further concerned that the BBC has afforded a degree of legitimacy to C14, allowing it to disguise itself as a nationalist organisation engaged in reasonable activities designed to defend Ukrainian sovereignty; believes that the BBC has failed to apply due rigour in failing to report on the known history of violence by C14, including attacks on the LGBT community, violence against ethnic minorities, journalists and trade unionists and an attack on a police officer using a grenade during Kiev Pride; expresses deep concern at reporting of C14 activities as educational conversation and petty hooliganism; and calls on the BBC to uphold the values and standards expected by licence fee payers in the reporting on Ukraine.


                “Personally, I’m a Nazi,” said “Phantom”, a 23-year-old former lawyer at the ceremony wearing camouflage and holding a Kalashnikov. “I don’t hate any other nationalities but I believe each nation should have its own country.” He added: “We have one idea: to liberate our land from terrorists.”

                Maybe the Zionist State press corp would suit you

                Israeli weapon seen used by Neo-Nazi Ukrainian unit against Russia

                Rights Groups Demand Israel Stop Arming neo-Nazis in Ukraine

                Human rights activists petition the court to cease Israeli arms exports to Ukraine since some of these weapons reach neo-Nazi elements in Ukraine’s security forces


                Andriy Biletsky, the proudly fascist Azov Battalion leader who once pledged to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade…against Semite-led Untermenschen”, vowed to bring thousands of fighters to Zolote if Zelensky pressed any further. Meanwhile, a parliamentarian from the party of former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko openly fantasized about Zelensky being blown to bits by a militant’s grenade.

                Though Zelensky achieved a minor disengagement, the neo-Nazi paramilitaries escalated their “No Capitulation” campaign. And within months, fighting began to heat up again in Zolote, sparking a new cycle of violations of the Minsk Agreement.

                By this point, Azov had been formally incorporated into the Ukrainian military and its street vigilante wing, known as the National Corps, was deployed across the country under the watch of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, and alongside the National Police. In December 2021, Zelensky would be seen delivering a “Hero of Ukraine” award to a leader of the fascistic Right Sector in a ceremony in Ukraine’s parliament.

                A full-scale conflict with Russia was approaching, and the distance between Zelensky and the extremist paramilitaries was closing fast.

                This February 24, when Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukrainian territory on a stated mission to “demilitarize and denazify” the country, U.S. media embarked on a mission of its own: to deny the power of neo-Nazi paramilitaries over the country’s military and political sphere. As the U.S. government-funded National Public Radio insisted, “Putin’s language [about denazification] is offensive and factually wrong.”

                In its bid to deflect from the influence of Nazism in contemporary Ukraine, U.S. media has found its most effective PR tool in the figure of Zelensky, a former TV star and comedian from a Jewish background. It is a role the actor-turned-politician has eagerly assumed.

                But as we will see, Zelensky has not only ceded ground to the neo-Nazis in his midst, he has entrusted them with a front line role in his country’s war against pro-Russian and Russian forces.


        2. Mooseman Silver badge

          "Bullshit, They called up people with prior combat experience to rotate through their forces"

          That was the claim, yes. Actually believing that is a different matter - there have been reports of "recruiters" turning up in villages with demands for X number of "volunteers".

          1. GNU SedGawk Bronze badge

            It's the fascist Kiev regime which has banned men from leaving the country, and is rounding up university students. Russia hasn't stopped anybody from leaving the country.

            It's such bullshit,

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I believe that the Russian Empire has always drawn cannon fodder from the ethnic minorities and the poorer regions.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        I believe that the Russian Empire has always drawn cannon fodder from the ethnic minorities and the poorer regions.

        It's been like that ever since lords were called on by the Crown to raise the levvies. Helped fill the treasury, and prevent our ancient oligarchs from getting too powerful. War. War never changes. I think it's riskier for Ukraine given they've been doing the same thing, with several rounds of drafting & conscription. Including closing it's borders to stop men & women leaving. Well, the ones that aren't well connected anyway. It's made claims to boost it's military to 5m, which will be challenging given the way it's population has declined since it's 2014 coup.

        Snowden will probably be safe because he's too valuable as a trophy.

        1. Danny 2

          I believe that the Russian Empire has always drawn cannon fodder from the ethnic minorities and the poorer regions.
          It's maybe of interest that one of the ethnic minorities being targetted for conscription are Crimean Tartars. This Muslim population used to be the majority in Crimea before many of them were, let's say, redirected.

          I'm still annoyed and scared that I am considered 'fighting age'. My fighting age was 6 to 33, I'm barely walking age now. Fit a machine gun on zimmer frame or wheelchair and maybe then.

          1. WolfFan Silver badge

            Don’t give Vlad the Invader any ideas.

    3. PRR Bronze badge

      > Reports suggest the mobilization order will disproportionately affect ethnic minorities in Russia... Who'd have thought that a psychopath dictator would take this opportunity to "cleanse" "his" country of "undesirables"?

      I survived VietNam. A side-topic in that action was sending undesirable Black men into the swamp at higher rates than White men. From deferments for (white) college students to in the field decisions about who gets the risky jobs.

      There seems to be less of this in our recent desert adventures. No draft, everybody paid OK and treated as valuable. (Also some of the Blacks who survived the VietNam swamps became career NCOs and officers and mentors, and re-aimed the culture inside the US military.)

      I'll avoid directly saying that our US Presidents of the VietNam era were sick dictators.

    4. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Pretty much every country does this. Not excusing Putin, but we're guilty of it too.

    5. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Possible slightly less dark side?

      Is Putin is giving guns to a large number of people who want him dead?

  3. wolfetone Silver badge

    If anyone is a master of finding stuff out on the internet, then Googling "How to break your arm" will be quite easy for Eddie Snowden.

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Or just Google "Group W Bench".

      1. Mooseman Silver badge

        "Or just Google "Group W Bench"."

        Kid, have you rehabilitated yourself?

  4. aerogems Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    I wonder

    If he managed to get his hands on a bunch of Russian classified info, would all be forgiven and he'd be welcome back to the US? Though then his wife and her family would be on Putin's shit list no doubt, and as we've seen of late, people like that have an uncanny knack for falling off high places lately.

    Probably the single biggest thing to advance the cause of world peace for a long time will likely be Putin's death. Be it the Russian people rising up as they've done in the past with "mad" Czars or through natural causes with whatever illness seems to be slowly killing him at the moment.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: I wonder

      There's no way Russia would ever allow him access to anything remotely sensitive, given his history. They're mostly allowing him to stay there just to annoy the U.S., but they wouldn't trust him. Also, I wouldn't count on the U.S. being in a forgiving mood no matter what he could do to help.

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: I wonder

        You took my comment far too seriously. No doubt the FSB has someone watching him basically 24/7 and if they so much as ever thought he was attempting to gain sensitive intel to give to a "hostile" nation he'd suddenly "fall" off a tall building or out of an airplane or something. Maybe his underwear would be laced with a nerve agent.

        It's sort of like the joke I made with my late friend, about how his wife just kept him around as an emergency food supply for her and the dogs. Snowden is just a convenient bargaining chip they can use at some future point. Maybe after Putin's gone, the next person will decide to make nice with the US by allowing some special forces team to come in and kidnap Snowden and spirit him away to some black site in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.

      2. d3vy

        Re: I wonder

        "I wouldn't count on the U.S. being in a forgiving mood no matter what he could do to help."

        Unless its all an elaborate plan to GET HIM into Russia, win some trust and then start leaking back to the US.

        I'd imagine that Russia has thought of this though and he'll be

        1. Not privvy to any (real) sensitive information.

        2. Closely watched.

    2. Professor_Iron

      Re: I wonder

      Honestly, an American guy who can't even speak fluent Russian would be the most obvious double-agent in the Kreml. Besides, we pretty much know what he does on a daily basis - that is posting alarmist content on Twitter.

      I'm not so sure about your comments on Putin - in the Western media he may be depicted as an evil dictator, but in Russia he's politically positioned on the center-right, most of the Russian political spectrum is far more extremist. It's like when Europe wished for the death of Tsar Nicholas without knowing that Lenin will follow.

    3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: I wonder

      Be it the Russian people rising up as they've done in the past with "mad" Czars or ...

      Liz Truss challenging him to a duel or an unarmed hand-to-hand fight to the death (c.f MTV's Death Match)

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: I wonder

        Please, Lord, let this happen. And be televised worldwide. Can it be in a giant tub of lime jello? Please? And can Liz repeat the Shirtless Pony Episode? I mean, she’s probably not nearly as gay as Brony Boy Puta… On the other hand, it probably wouldn’t distract Vlad…

        Liz, channel your inner Maggie, and hit him repeatedly about the head and shoulders with a handbag.

        1. Aitor 1

          Re: I wonder

          It would be on channel 4, plenty of ads, 720 pathetic bitrate, and you would need a BBC license for that.

    4. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: I wonder

      The people of Salisbury will doubtless be pleased to know they’re not using Novichok at the moment.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I wonder

        Who downvotes a post about not using weapons of mass destruction? Is it you Vlad?

    5. Shalghar

      Re: I wonder

      "Probably the single biggest thing to advance the cause of world peace for a long time will likely be Putin's death."

      Nope. The only thing to end war is sending everyone who profits from and prepares for war to the front line as soon as the glorified mass murdering starts.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, draft Snowden into FSB and see what fun leaks ensue as he flees to another country, AGAIN.

    Fool me once right? I jest but this is really on the verge of being a stranger than fiction moment.

    That said, his quote is pretty clear about why he would accept it in the middle of this shitstorm. He and his wife are in a complicated situation, and while they chose it, his kids did not. Without that piece of paper that family could easily be torn apart and scattered to the wind, and their well being may push him to accept the offer regardless of the optics or the cost.

    It is also possible that Putin will let them flee Russia to another sanctuary nation at some point, just to piss of the US government. One of the things preventing it was the fact the US cancelled their passports. Or Putin can cash them in as a bargaining chip, but I suspect if the US wanted him back that bad Russia would have settled a price for them by now.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Yeah, draft Snowden into FSB and see what fun leaks ensue as he flees to another country, AGAIN.

      "Or Putin can cash them in as a bargaining chip, but I suspect if the US wanted him back that bad Russia would have settled a price for them by now."

      I have the feeling that allowing the Snowden's to remain in Russia just to irritate the US government is too priceless to let go. They don't need to have Ed telling tales to "earn his keep". He's a smart and talented guy that is adding his skills to the Russian economy and likely mentoring the people around him as normally happens in a workplace. It was good advertising too for major government whistleblowers everywhere to indicate there could be a place for them... Up until the invasion of Ukraine where they threw all of it away.

      1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

        Re: Yeah, draft Snowden into FSB and see what fun leaks ensue as he flees to another country, AGAIN.

        If anything, I imagine that Russia will try and get Snowden to participate in IT attacks against the US using his insider knowledge. And, as a Russian citizen, he's now open to all of the punishment that other Russians are subjected to, including a train ride for his family in a north-northeasterly direction should he refuse, only to different destinations. Of course that'll be about the time he no longer serves a political propaganda purpose.

    2. Irony Deficient

      their well being may push him to accept the offer regardless of the optics or the cost.

      Indeed, since Article 61 of the Russian constitution guarantees that Russian citizens will not be extradited from Russia to any other country.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: their well being may push him to accept the offer regardless of the optics or the cost.

        Oh yes, the infamous "rights and freedoms" chapter of the Russian constitution.

        AKA, the most fanciful literary construct since Winnie the Pooh, but not as well respected.

        1. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: their well being may push him to accept the offer regardless of the optics or the cost.

          You mentioned Winnie. You made Xi very sad. You are a very naughty person.

        2. Irony Deficient

          Oh yes, the infamous “rights and freedoms” chapter of the Russian constitution.

          Do you have a list of Russian citizens that have been extradited from Russia to any other country since 1993-12-25, when it replaced the RSFSR constitution?

  6. Professor_Iron

    Most of the white-collar workers - including people in finance, academics, IT professionals - are exempt from the mobilization. But I thought it was pretty obvious that Snowden is a diplomatic trophy for Russia to be kept on the shelf, much like Assanage was for Ecuador for years.

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      ...and as we've been larning all these years modern warfare doesn't involve millions of ill trained conscripts charging at each other's trenches through a sea of mud. A lot of the fighting involves managing information, for example. (According to one news article I read Ukraine's logistics are managed from an industrial park in the Netherlands, for example.)

      A lot of the military never sees front line action. Up to Vietnam it was reckoned that for every serviceman actively being shot at some nine were needed to keep the wheels of the miliary turning. The ratio's changed a bit these days due to subcontracting but like subcontracting in the real world this is more about personell flexibility and cost savings than some radical shift in war methodology. After all, it costs a bundle to recruit and train a soldier and they continue to cost a lot of money when they're killed/injured/retired so why not pay others to do the legwork for you? (In fact, there's a school of thought that suggests that Ukraine is actually a proxy war -- we (the US) are paying them $1.6 billion a month plus hardware to fight Russians -- but we'd probably better not go there.)

      1. Alumoi Silver badge

        Except for Russia where it was/is cheaper to throw warm bodies at the problem until it goes away.

      2. crayon

        If by "we", you mean nato, then yeah, most of those wars fought after Vietnam were against vastly inferior people (in terms of their equipment). You don't need a lot of men to destroy those people and their country when you can simply conduct massive indiscriminate aerial bombardment.

        Russian is fighting the 3rd largest army in Europe, backed by the whole war machine of Nato. Ukraine spent the 8 years in which it pointedly ignored Minsk II to dig in and fortify the front lines as well as whiling away the time by shelling and killing over 14000 people in the Donbass. You need more men to fight against that than you do when you are simply bombing camel herders, wedding parties and school buses.

        1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

          If by "we", you mean nato, then yeah, most of those wars fought after Vietnam were against vastly inferior people (in terms of their equipment).

          Don't forget that the US has lost every single war it has fought since WW2, with the possible exception of the invasion of Grenada. Woop-de-do.

          Korea. Lost. Vietnam. Lost. Gulf War 1: Gave up. Gulf War 2: Lost. Afghanistan: Sorry asses whupped. Somalia: ran away.

          1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

            None of those wars were lost by the US military, they were lost by the US political leadership. The politicos do not fight a war to win a war, they fight a war to win political points. The first Gulf war (the one I was in) was practically won in a week. We were about to take Baghdad when Bush Sr called a halt to it. Another 3 days and we would have had Saddam in a sack. My father fought in Viet Nam and while he never said much about it what he did say was that the senior leadership was working hard to lose it. It was almost like Viet Nam was a weapons and body dumping exercise.

            One political advantage in the US, Conservatives are pro-military and tend to sign up while liberals are anti-military and don't. Most of the wars after WW2, particularly the ones in which the US took the worst losses, were started by Democrat Presidents. Poltiically, sending Conservative troops to fight a losing war is a great way to steer the nation to the left as those dead troops can no longer vote Conservative, nor can they countetact the liberal programming of their kids. Losing Viet Nam worked well for the Democrats.

            1. Mooseman Silver badge

              "Most of the wars after WW2, particularly the ones in which the US took the worst losses, were started by Democrat Presidents"

              Are you suggesting a GOP president would not have done the same thing? The USA had and still has a paranoia about communism, if you remember - both Korea and Vietnam were fought ostensibly to defeat a communist force. Your excursion into Afghanistan was a knee jerk response to 9/11 and had little chnace of ever achieving much. Republican president of I recall.

              You're actually proposing that these conflicts were a way of reducing conservative voters? How deranged are you?

              "Liberal programming of kids"

              I bet you supported Trump too, despite his comments about "losers" who died in WW! - when he wouldn't go to the memorial in case his hair got wet.

          2. Mooseman Silver badge

            "Gulf War 1: Gave up. Gulf War 2: Lost"

            I despair of the levels of intellect, or the lack of it on this forum. I naively believed people working in IT were at least above average intelligence, seems I was incorrect.

            Gulf war 1 - fulfilled UN resolution and stopped when then was complete. You could argue that they should have finished the job, but that wasn't part of the remit of the UN force - it wasn't just the US.

            Gulf war 2 - morally and legally dubious, yes. Lost? Are you related to Comical Ali?

          3. EvilDrSmith Silver badge


            Initial war aim of US and UN was to prevent North Korean aggression resulting in the annexation of South Korea.

            Result of war: North Korean aggression failed to annex South Korea.

            So initial war aim achieved, and result = US (and UN) victory (though an unsatisfactory one, since NK remains a problem).


            Yup, Objective: preserve South Vietnamese sovereignty from North Vietnamese aggression/annexation. Failed to preserve South Vietnam from annexation resulting from North Vietnamese aggression, so that's a loss.

            Gulf War 1

            Objective: liberate Kuwait. result, Kuwait liberated. All in accordance with UN mandate. Achieve objective, and with incredibly low casualties. That's a win.

            Gulf war 2:

            Objective: Overthrow the Iraqi leadership. result: Iraqi leadership over-thrown. War objective achieved. Given that there appears to have been no plan for what happened next, it's not easy to determine whether the US ultimately achieved its aim, because the US doesn't seem to have had much of an aim.


            Initial objective: overthrow the Taliban and destroy the terrorist training camps. Result: Taliban over-thrown, and terrorists killed or scattered.

            Then our class A western politicians decided to take a nation that resembles a 14th century feudal society with excessive religious zeal and convert it in a few short years into a 21st century 'liberal' democracy complete with the full 'woke' agenda of minority rights. Strangely, it didn't work. But it did enable defeat to be snatched from the jaws of victory.

        2. Mooseman Silver badge

          "If by "we", you mean nato, then yeah, most of those wars fought after Vietnam were against vastly inferior people (in terms of their equipment)."

          No, not NATO - NATO member countries, yes. Please learn the difference. Vastly inferior equioment? Equipment supplied by Russia and China?

  7. Withdrawn


    Has anyone been charged?

  8. hj

    Merriam Webster definition of a whistle blower:: one who reveals something covert or who informs against another, especially : an employee who brings wrongdoing by an employer .... I don't think he is a self-described whistle blower, but one by defintion...

    1. crayon

      "Snowden's status as a whistleblower is disputed by the US government"

      If it was up to the entity whose dirty laundry you aired then nobody would be classified as a whistleblower. And given what happened to past whistleblowers, Snowden had to flee to a relatively secure location before revealing the crimes that his government committed in the pretence of protecting the people.

  9. martinusher Silver badge

    Read the fine print

    The "partial mobilization" affects reservists and is no different what we did in the US during Iraq and Afghanistan where we mobilized parts our National Guard (i.e. reservists) to serve there. This was a bit awakward for many because what was supposed to be one quick tour of duty ended up being three, four or more with some people stuck over there for literally years.

    The one difference between Russia and us (the US) is that in Russia everyone is on paper a reservist due to universal military service (which I think they still do). Here is the US we don't require everyone to undergo military training but we do require all men 18-24 years old to register for the draft. (Its a dumb thing but without that proof of registration you can't get 'benefits' from the Federal Government such as student loans, immigration and so on.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Read the fine print

      There is a useful summary here...

    2. Mooseman Silver badge

      Re: Read the fine print

      One crucial difference between the US and Russia is that reservists in the US and elsewhere have more than the very basic training, and being a reservist isn't a life long sentence. In Russia it's barely a year, reservists are always reservists, and they get "on the job" training at the front. Why do you think Russian morale is so low?

  10. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Truely a healing figure

    He whistleblows obtrusive US surveillance under a Democrat president and he is equally reviled by both Obama and Trump

    Could anyone else have brought such balance to the force ?

    1. rcxb Silver badge

      Re: Truely a healing figure

      Snowed sabotaged his own whisleblower status by not JUST leaking evidence about the surveillance program, but also a truck-load of other classified documents that had nothing to do with it. Those damaged the US for no benefit to anyone, except perhaps Snowden's own desire for revenge. That's a good reason both sides can agree on the need for prosecution.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Truely a healing figure

        Didn't he just think about declassifying them ?

  11. Jan K.

    " family. I pray for privacy for them"

    Uh, you've found the perfect home for them then... well done, you.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Yep he should have a stuck to spying on Americans

  12. David 164

    Being the best Russian agent they have had in decades, he has serve his time.

  13. Winkypop Silver badge

    The poor and the politically weak

    These people have always paid the full cost of their leaders wanton expeditioning.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Self described?

    > Self-described whistleblower

    > the bulk collection of US phone records – was found to be unlawful.

    How is that self-described?

    1. Zolko Silver badge

      Re: Self described?

      Well, for the author Julian Assange is probably also an "alleged rapist ". At least you know where he writes from. Propaganda at its best. I'm somawhat disappointed that ElReg sinks to such lows.

  15. rcxb Silver badge

    the surveillance apparatus he exposed – the bulk collection of US phone records – was found to be unlawful.

    It was an open secret for a number of years before Snowden. The NYT reported on it in Dec 2005:

    EFF filed a lawsuit in early 2006:

    Snowden only helped a bit, in that he made more evidence of it public, helping the legal processes go forward.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pretty miserable article

      > Snowden only helped a bit

      And the price he paid is that he now lives in exile in an illiberal country because his own governments wants his head on a plate and none of the "self-described" western liberal democracies will touch him with a bargepole.

      Given that neither I nor, I strongly suspect, the author of this (opinion? editorial?) piece would have the balls to go anywhere near that far, methinks he deserves a little bit of respect and consideration.

    2. d3vy

      "Snowden only helped a bit, in that he made more evidence of it public, helping the legal processes go forward."

      Without his involvement its unlikely that it would have drawn quite as much international media attention and any legal action would have fizzled out.

      The way it happened it was impossible to deny, the gov't were over a barrel and the outcome of the case was pretty much pre-determined at that point.

  16. Wolfclaw

    Strange how US and Russian military both rely on ethnic minorities for cannon fodder to die for them, while families of white, rich, famous, privileged or of political influence get a free pass ?

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Sigh. You might want to count how many regiments in the British Army have Scots or Irish or Welsh (in one case, Welch, and if you spell it with a s they get very annoyed) in their names. And there’s a reason why there are _still_ Gurkha units in the British Army…

      The greatest victory that the British Army ever won was famously fought by, and I quote, the assorted hillmen of the British Empire: Nepalese, Indians, Nigerians, Kenyans, Burmese, Scots. (Imphal/Kohima. Slim’s boys inflicted 63% _fatalities_ on the Japanese…)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Wars are usually fought with mercenaries because of the political cost of putting patricians in harm's way.

        At least the French are open about this.

  17. Ordinary Donkey

    Been a while.

    Good to see El Reg giving Betteridge's law a workout again.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ugh - he's sentenced his children to growing up freedomless and with no privacy under the watchful eyes of the FSB and Putin.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      If Putin and consorts keep going the way they are in Ukraïne and with the conscription going on, it remains to be seen just how long Putin and his FSB keep power and whether what comes after is better or worse (I'm betting far worse personally).

  19. Omidia

    The man wants privacy, give it to him. He's done his bit, we didn't really do ours.

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