Since being granted asylum in Russia, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has kept a low profile, virtually dropping out of sight. In an interview with Russian magazine Itogi and with RT television— translated in part by AFP — Snowden's lawyer and de facto spokesperson Anatoly Kucherena says fear for his safety has led Snowden to leave home only in disguise. "He would walk past you and you wouldn't recognize him," says Kucherena. "It's a question of clothes and small alterations to his appearance ... He really does walk freely around on the streets."
Kucherena tells RT that Snowden has quickly picked up the basics of the Russian language, but his life in the country is isolated, especially as the US government continues in its attempt to extradite him. "I am his only link with the outside world at the moment," Kucherena says. "Even his contacts with his parents are carried out through me." Snowden's parents are expected to come to Russia, but he worries that intelligence agencies could track them to find his location. The US has said publicly that it would not seek the death penalty for Snowden, but it has consistently pressured governments to hand him over to face espionage charges in his home country.
"He believes he did everything right."
Snowden, meanwhile, has frequently expressed concerns that he could be extradited through underhanded means or even physically harmed, saying that a fair trial would be impossible in the US and that the government could not stop the leaks by "jailing or murdering" him. Now, Snowden's lawyer says anything is possible. "It's hard to say what could happen, but as long as the US side retains its grievances against Snowden, nothing can be ruled out," he says. And Snowden has a more pressing problem: he may be running out of money. While Kucherena is apparently offering his services pro bono, he says that Snowden is not a wealthy man, and that he must pay for not only food and shelter but a coterie of bodyguards. To continue to survive, he may open a bank account to use the donations that have come in since he revealed himself.
Despite this, Kucherena tells RT that Snowden doesn't regret the leaks. "He's not disappointed. He believes he did everything right," he says. And he confirms Glenn Greenwald's claim that the leaks we've seen so far are only the tip of the iceberg, saying that Snowden "has not disclosed all information" in his possession. If true, this means the US government is unlikely to give up its pursuit of him and the information he copied from NSA databases.