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.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.