Russian MiniLessons: Political Asylum and Related Russian Vocabulary

Edward Snowden famously applied for political asylum in Russia. Picture from Flikkr user Gage Skidmore.

The following bilingual Russian MiniLesson is meant to build your vocabulary by providing Russian phrases within English text. Hover over the bold Russian to reveal its English translation.

Recently, US authorities предъявили обвинение former CIA employee Edward Snowden of хищение государственной собственности, as well as раскрытие данных о национальной обороне, and умышленная передача секретной информации постороннему лицу; the latter two crimes are covered under the Акт о шпионаже. Snowden is currently разыскивается властями США.

Snowden disclosed data on a US special services’ секретная программа наблюдения, known as Prism. The US authorities have said that the disclosure was an act of шпионаж and государственная измена. Edward Snowden acted as an информатор, that is a человек, сообщающий обществу о предполагаемой мошеннической или незаконной деятельности.

He has also been labeled a человек, раскрывающий секретную информацию, because he раскрыл секретные документы. Because of his actions, he had to сбежать из своей родной страны; in other words, he became a беглец.

He is staying в международной транзитной зоне аэропорта in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. He is trying to просить политическое убежище/подать запрос о политическом убежище, after which the country he applies to can предоставить убежище or отказать в политическом убежище.

Russian authorities are refusing to экстрадировать/выдавать Edward Snowden to the USA. President Putin said there is no соглашение об экстрадиции between Russia and the US, adding that Snowden не совершал преступлений on Russian soil, and is therefore a free person. Putin has indicated the Snowden might get asylum in Russia but есть одно условие: он должен прекратить свою работу, направленную на то, чтобы наносить ущерб нашим американским партнерам, как это ни странно прозвучит из моих уст. 

Snowden may face смертная казнь  if extradited to the United States. Russian officials have cited this as a reason not to extradite him. However, Russia’s refusal to extradite could cause международный спор, as US authorities would like to арестовать/взять под стражу or задержать Mr. Snowden.

For more on President Putin’s comments about the situation, follow this link or this one.

About the Author

Andrei Nesterov

Andrei Nesterov leads SRAS' Research Services, performing remote archive research and consultations for researchers around the globe. Andrei graduated from Ural State University (journalism) and Irkutsk State Linguistic University (English). He also studied public policy and journalism at Duke University on a Muskie Fellowship and taught Russian at West Virginia University. As a journalist, he has reported in both Russian and English language outlets and has years of archival research experience. He has travelled Russia extensively and penned many stories on the “real Russia” which lies beyond the capital and major cities. Andrei also contributes news, feature stories, and language resources to the SRAS Family of Sites.

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