I think Edward Snowden is extremely brave to have done what he did.
But he should have made his way to Latin America, not Russia. This is why.
Yesterday I learnt you have managed at last to get temporary asylum in Russia. I congratulate you in the name of all worldwide progressive public opinion. Now at last you are safe. Here, in Russia, no one will ever think of persecuting you for exposing the workings of the secret services, phone tapping or reading private correspondence without permission of a court. For in our country, thank God, we have the rule of law – Russia’s secret services, since back in 2008, have had the full legal right to listen to telephone conversations and to read e-mail.
Secondly, my old friend, you should understand straight away that Russia is a country full of spirituality. It’s possible that in your American school you were taught that Russian wealth comes from oil and timber. Well, that is all in the past. All the oil was stolen by Mikhail Khodorkovsky back in 2004, and recently Aleksei Navalny has made off with all the timber. So our main sources of wealth nowadays are spiritual – Orthodoxy, autocracy and the spirit of the Russian people.
Orthodoxy is a very liberal religion. You can drink alcohol, eat pork, drive your BMW roadster with a diplomatic numberplate at top speed while you’re on the booze - just like Abbot Timofei. In general, you can do anything you like. The main thing is, don’t dance. You just mustn’t dance. You’ll end up in jail. But you’re not a dancer, so it doesn’t matter to you? Autocracy, well, this is the traditional kind of Russian form of democracy, with a great deal of spirituality. You’ll like it. Every few years we elect Vladimir Putin.Vladimir Putin caught almost the biggest catfish in the world. And the very biggest catfish in the world was caught by Lukashenko. That is all you need to know about politics in the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. If, that is, you don’t want to go back to your little hotel room somewhere in Krasnokamensk. As for the Spirit of the Russian People, you can get to know this through the songs of Stas Mikhailov. But my advice to you personally would be not to bother.