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Edward Snowden called on Russians to take their "future back" from corruption and anti-democratic forces. (Screenshot: Global Editors Network/YouTube)

Despite Possible Blowback, Snowden Decries Anti-Democratic Forces in Russia

"My friends tell me it is dangerous to criticize the Russian government the same as I criticize my own. But each of us are given a limited number of days to make a difference. Life is a choice to live for something, or to die for nothing."

Jon Queally

Despite the possible threat it could pose to his own long-term safety and security, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden on Sunday publicly criticized the appearance of ballot fraud and democratic corruption during national elections in Russia, the country where he has enjoyed political asylum since 2013.

While President Vladimir Putin won re-election with "unbelievable seventy-percent of the vote" on Sunday, Snowden posted a widely-shared video that appeared to show election workers stuffing ballot boxes.

Here:

While Putin does retain widespread popular support in the country, examples of government corruption are believed commonplace and evidence of ballot-stuffing were not isolated to the single video shared by Snowden.

Though not the first time Snowden has criticized his host country, ThinkProgress' Casey Michel points out that it was "by far his most pointed criticism — and one that caused concern from followers for his safety."

Despite such worries from those who recognized his fragile situation or the possible repercussions, Snowden said he felt honor bound to speak out.


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