Edward Snowden, the former computer security consultant-turned-whistleblower who released a number of classified National Security Agency (NSA) documents, has asked for privacy for himself and his family on Twitter after news surfaced that he has been granted Russian citizenship.

The 39-year-old Snowden took to Twitter, where he shared a picture with his wife and two infant sons. He wrote in the caption, “After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our SONS. After two years of waiting and nearly ten years of exile, a little stability will make a difference for my family. I pray for privacy for them—and for us all.”

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Along with his message, the former CIA employee has also attached a similar tweet he had sent out in 2020, where he stated his and wife Lindsay Mills’ desire for applying for dual US-Russian citizenship.

Check out his post right here:

The news of Snowden being granted Russian citizenship comes in the middle of the Russian-Ukraine conflict, which has furthered strained relationships between the Vladimir Putin-led country and the US-led western NATO members as well as other western countries.

Snowden has been living an exiled life in Russia since declassifying NSA files. He is facing charges of espionage in his home country, the United States. BBC reports that it was his exposé that first revealed the fact that the NIA does collect information from privately made phone calls.

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The NIA, while countering Snowden’s claims, had said that it was their surveillance that helped nab four immigrants from Somalia who allegedly provided funds to al-Shabab, an African extremist group.

Anatoliy Kucherena, the legal representative of Snowden, has earlier released a statement saying that the latter will not be called up to fight in the Russian army in accordance with the partial mobilisation announced by president Vladimir Putin.