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May Wilkerson May Wilkerson

Russia Has Not Turned Edward Snowden Into a Drunk


The fugitive NSA leaker was warned that living in Russia would turn him into a miserable drunk. Not at all, he says. Dude's sober and happy.

8 Substance
Score


Everyone’s favorite whistleblowing fugitive Edward Snowden wants the haters to know that, after living in Russia for over a year, he’s not miserable and he’s not a drunk.

In an interview with PBS’s NOVA, the former NSA contractor shoots back at those who bid him an ominous adieu when he took asylum in Russia in 2013. “They talk about Russia like it’s the worst place on earth. Russia’s great,” says Snowden, who lost his welcome in the USA after he leaked top secret information about government surveillance.

He refers back to a speech by former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden, who predicted that the leaker would ”end up like most of the rest of the defectors who went to the old Soviet Union: isolated, bored, lonely, depressed–and most of them ended up alcoholics.”

Snowden thinks this is “funny” in retrospect, saying: “He was talking about how…everybody in Russia is miserable. Russia is a terrible place. And I’m going to end up miserable and…drunk and I’m never going to do anything.”

Hayden and the other haters were wrong, according to Snowden. After two Russian winters, Snowden says that he has not contracted alcoholism by osmosis. In fact, he’s totally sober, saying: “I don’t drink. I’ve never been drunk in my life.”