Support The Moscow Times!

Frenchman Briefly Gets 'Snowden' Tag

U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden isn't the only person to face problems getting out of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport this year.

A Frenchman with a mistake in his travel documents was stopped by border guards on Friday and ended up having to fly home, RIA Novosti reported Tuesday, citing the French Embassy.

When Patrick Samorski arrived from Geneva, migration authorities noticed that his passport and visa indicated his sex as female, a mistake that neither Samorski nor Russian officials had noticed during previous trips to Russia.

Border guards this time told Samorski that he would not be allowed to enter Russia unless he could prove that he had had a sex change, Agence France-Presse reported.

Samorski was put on the next flight to Geneva.

Some Russian media immediately labeled Samorski the "new Snowden" or "Snowden 2."

Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor whose passport was canceled by the U.S., has been stuck at the airport since he arrived from Hong Kong on June 23.

Snowden leaked information about two top secret U.S. surveillance programs and faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted in the U.S. He has requested temporary asylum in Russia.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.