US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has left the Moscow airport where he had been staying since June after being granted temporary asylum.
Mr Snowden’s lawyer said he had left after receiving the papers he needed to enter Russian territory from Sheremetyevo Airport’s transit zone.
The US has charged Mr Snowden with leaking details of its electronic surveillance programmes.
Russia’s decision is likely to further strain its ties with the US.
crets of others, Edward Snowden is infuriatingly keen on keeping private.
That, at least, is a view of journalists, dozens of whom were patrolling the inside of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport trying to get a glimpse of this famous fugitive.
Each hint of Snowden’s possible appearance brought about a sea of cameras and a forest of microphone holders. Passions ran high, some cameras were trampled upon.
All in vain. Edward Snowden slipped away in a taxi, an unremarkable grey sedan.
That is, if we believe Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who has handled Snowden’s asylum in Russia. According to him the ex-CIA contractor took the taxi to the location of his own choosing.
Many Russians find it improbable that the vast Russian security machine is content simply to see Mr Snowden go.
Then again, he’s left the airport on Leningradskoe Shosse, a road notorious for its traffic jams.
Should Russian Federal Security Service change its mind, it can probably find Edward Snowden still stuck in traffic not far from the place which was his home for more than a month.
Mr Snowden later issued a statement via the website of the whistleblowing organisation Wikileaks thanking Russia for granting him asylum and accusing the US government of showing “no respect” for international law.