The latest barrage of propaganda from Vladimir Putin’s neo-Soviet dictatorship posits that Boris Kuznetsov and Oleg Kalugin are just like Edward Snowden, so Russia is perfectly justified in offering asylum to Snowden as long as the U.S. offers it to Kuznetsov and Kalugin.
Like most of what emanates from the Putin Kremlin, this claim is absolute nonsense.
Kuznetsov was a lawyer who revealed during the trial of his client in Moscow that the Kremlin was wiretapping his client illegally. Kuznetsov never revealed any confidential Kremlin information to the press or to a foreign government as Snowden did.
Kalugin was a KGB officer who defected to the U.S. The Kremlin’s beef with him is that he testified in court against an American charged with spying for Russia. Once again, Kalugin revealed no Russian secrets to any foreign power or to the media, he merely helped Americans convict an American spy.
The U.S. government has no intention of prosecuting Snowden for any statements he might make in court. He’s free to appear in any Russian or American court and give whatever testimony he desires to give. The U.S. government wants to prosecute Snowden for speaking to a journalist for the Guardian and handing over to him vast quantities of classified documents and then fleeing to American enemies and quite possible providing still more information to them.
Vladimir Putin himself has openly stated that this conduct was reprehensible and that Snowden may not stay in Russia if he continues it. The notion that Snowden is any any way remotely similar to Kuznetsov or Kalugin is farcical and could only come from the neo-Soviet propagandists who are detached from reality and prepared to say anything, no matter how ludicrous, in order to try to deflect blame for their actions.