Russian Lawyer Welcomes Snowden With 'Crime and Punishment'© RIA Novosti. Maxim Blinov
Russian Lawyer Welcomes Snowden With 'Crime and Punishment'© REUTERS/ Sergei Karpukhin
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MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian lawyer who is assisting fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden with his asylum request said Tuesday that he had brought Fyodor Dostoyevsky's 19-century classic novel "Crime and Punishment" to a meeting with him at a Moscow airport.
"I bought him Dostoyevsky’s "Crime and Punishment," because I think that he should read about Raskolnikov," lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who arrived at Sheremetyevo airport Wednesday afternoon, said in an interview with Rossia 24 TV, referring to the novel's main character who repents after killing an elderly female pawnbroker and is sent to Siberia for punishment.
"I am not saying there is a similarity of their inner conflicts, but nevertheless, this world classic should be interesting for him," Kucherena said, adding he had also brought some works by another classic Russian author – Anton Chekhov – “to cheer him up.”
Kucherena made his remarks at the airport, where he arrived carrying a large bag, which reportedly contained clothes for Snowden.
The lawyer was expected to give Snowden a document issued by Russian authorities that would allow him to leave the transit zone where he has been holed up since June 23, but Kucherena walked out about two hours later without Snowden, saying that the decision on enabling him to leave the airport will be made in days.
After the meeting Kucherena said in a separate interview with Rossia 24 that Snowden told him he would like to study Russian and travel around the country when he is allowed to leave the airport. The lawyer said that the American was smiling and said a few Russian words, including “hi,” “bye-bye” and “I will call you.”
Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for leaking classified data about the US National Security Agency’s surveillance activities, formally requested temporary asylum in Russia on July 16.
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Edward Snowden is not an isolated case but part of an independent community which is increasingly resolute in asserting itself and rejecting “raison d’Etat” and behind-the-scenes manipulation. The direct results of Snowden’s disclosures are most clearly evident in the context of Russian-American relations. The Snowden case has humiliated Europe, which Putin took the opportunity to remind them of.