Russian Newspaper: Snowden Stayed at the Russian Consulate in Hong Kong
The Washington Post has more details today on that Russian newspaper article we noted last night; according to Kommersant, Edward Snowden did more than contact the Russian embassy when he was in Hong Kong — he actually lived there for several days: Snowden Stayed at Russian Consulate While in Hong Kong, Report Says.
MOSCOW — Before American fugitive Edward Snowden arrived in Moscow in June — an arrival that Russian officials have said caught them by surprise — he spent several days living at the Russian Consulate in Hong Kong, a Moscow newspaper reported Monday.
The article in Kommersant, based on accounts from several unnamed sources, did not state clearly when Snowden decided to seek Russian help in leaving Hong Kong, where he was in hiding in order to evade arrest by U.S. authorities on charges that he leaked top-secret documents about U.S. surveillance programs.
The article also states that the reason Snowden didn’t go to Cuba was because Cuba said, “No way.”
Kommersant quoted unnamed Russian officials as saying the Cubans decided to refuse Snowden entry under U.S. pressure, leaving him stranded. That version stands in contrast to widespread speculation that the Russians never intended to let the former CIA employee travel onward.
And, more details on the Russia-Wikileaks connections in this mess:
The article implies that Snowden’s decision to seek Russian help came after he was joined in Hong Kong by Sarah Harrison, a WikiLeaks staffer who became his adviser and later flew to Moscow with him.
Harrison, the article suggests, had a role in the making the plans. The article noted a statement released by WikiLeaks on June 23, shortly after the Aeroflot flight left Chinese airspace, which said Snowden was heading to a destination where his safety could be guaranteed.