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Moscow (AFP) – Fugitive U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has formally requested to stay in Russia past July 31, when his one-year asylum status expires, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

“We have already filed documents to extend his stay in Russia,” Anatoly Kucherena told AFP.

Kucherena did not say for how long Snowden wanted to extend his stay, which status he was seeking or whether he wishes to become a Russian citizen.

Snowden has been in Russia since flying in from Hong King in June last year after shaking up America’s intelligence establishment with a series of leaks on mass surveillance in the United States and around the world.

He could not travel on from Sheremetyevo however after his passport was revoked, and was holed up in its transit zone for weeks before Moscow granted him a one-year refugee status.

Although he gradually increased his media visibility by giving several tightly-controlled interviews, his life in Russia is still a mystery and only a series of reported sightings seem to indicate that he remains somewhere in or around Moscow.

He had applied for asylum in other countries and admitted that he would like to go home, where he faces espionage charges that could lead to a lengthy prison term.

AFP Photo

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Doug Mastriano

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Doug Mastriano is a QAnon conspiracy theorist and January 6 insurrectionist who this week won the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania governor. Mastriano is also anti-Muslim: He previously shared an image with the words, “Stop Islam” and a post claiming that “the American People have a right to be fearful of the prospect of a large number of muslims being elected to congress, specifically if they practice Sharia law.”

In addition to running for governor, Mastriano is a Pennsylvania state senator, a right-wing commentator, and a frequent guest in right-wing media. He regularly pushes lies about the 2020 election being stolen from former President Donald Trump.

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