I found this article that contains comments from Russian president Vladimir Putin that shed an interesting light on the sequence of events that led to Edward Snowden ending up in Russia and his relationship with Putin. The report also says that even though he has little money, Snowden is settling in and learning the language.
Putin reiterated that he would not be giving up Snowden to the US and that he was free to live in Russia and expressed sympathy for what Snowden had abandoned in order to do what he did.
“You know, I sometimes thought about him, he is a strange guy,” ex-KGB spy Putin said in an interview with state-run Channel One television.
“How is he going to build his life? In effect, he condemned himself to a rather difficult life. I do not have the faintest idea about what he will do next,” Putin said.
Putin said while US special services consider Snowden a traitor “he is someone with a completely different frame of mind and considers himself to be a fighter for human rights.”
What I found particularly interesting was something mentioned almost in passing, and that deal with the condition that Putin had imposed on Snowden in return for granting him asylum, and that was that he refrain from releasing any more information that would embarrass the US. People have been puzzled as to how leaks are continuing to emerge. But according to the report,
“He was told about it,” Putin said of Snowden, adding he did not agree to his conditions. “And he left, just left, and that’s it,” he said, referring to the Russian diplomatic mission in Hong Kong which he said Snowden had contacted.
Did Snowden never agree to the condition not to continue the leaks or did he agree later? The fact that the leaks continue suggests the former.