Russia Suspends Opposition Leader’s Sentence. Will It Quiet Criticism Of Kremlin? (+video)

Lon Snowden, father of Edward Snowden, shown in this still image from Reuters TV footage, speaks to reporters at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, October 16, 2013, shortly after returning to the United States from a weeklong visit with his son in Moscow. REUTERS/Reuters TV

He’s comfortable. He’s happy. And he’s absolutely committed to what he has done.” The younger Snowden’s revelations about the reach and methods of the NSA, including the monitoring of vast volumes of Internet traffic and phone records, have upset U.S. allies from Germany to Brazil. Admirers call him a human rights champion and critics denounce him as a traitor. “There’s much more to be shared,” Lon Snowden said. Staying in Russia, Snowden said, allows his son “to continue to push these issues forward, to make sure the true story is told.” “He’s not a fugitive. He’s a legal asylee of the Russian Federation and the press needs to get that right and I think our government understands that at this point.” Snowden criticized the U.S. intelligence community as being negligent and complicit in the spying scandal, singling out Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, NSA Director Keith Alexander, Senator Diane Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Congressman Mike Rogers, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee. Russia has kept secret where the Snowdens met during the visit as well as where the son has been living. Moscow also has kept the media and public away from Edward Snowden, who has been shepherded by a lawyer believed to have ties with Russia’s secret services. Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB spy, has repeatedly said that Russia would shelter Snowden only if he stopped harming the United States.

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Ford’s New Strategy in Russia: A Lot of SUVs

RECOMMENDED: Do you know anything about Russia? A quiz. Everything that happened last summer and everything that happens today depends on Putin, Navalny said. All the prosecutors, all the lawyers, all the judges are just extras here. In July, a lower court handed down an embezzlement conviction to the outspoken lawyer who rose to prominence during large-scale street protests against President Vladimir Putin in 2011 and 2012. He was released the next day pending the outcome of his appeal. Some political observers felt jailing Navalny could empower the opposition and make him into a martyr, reports Russias official RIA Novosti news agency. In the interim, Navalny ran in the high profile Moscow mayoral race where he won a solid and some say legitimizing 27 percent of the vote against a Putin-allied incumbent. His campaign touched on widespread corruption under President Putin and anti-migrant sentiments , reports Agence France-Presse. Since the court today did not overturn Mr. Navalnys guilty verdict, he is unable to run for public office until his suspended sentence is fulfilled. He has expressed interest in running for president in 2018. The suspension of the sentence Wednesday suggested a willingness of the Kremlin to accept the trade-off in greater legitimacy for the political system here in exchange for tolerating Mr. Navalnys often stinging criticism of Mr. Putin, reports The New York Times.