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WASHINGTON, March 14. /TASS/. Founder of popular Russian social network VKontakte and Telegram Messenger Pavel Durov told CBS that he had offered a job to fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.
"When he arrived in Russia I considered him to be my personal hero," Durov said in the interview for "60 Minutes" program broadcast late on Sunday. "As a Russian citizen, I was grateful to him that he told the world that this kind of monitoring was happening at the expense of his own liberty and his own freedom of movement."
Durov said he wanted Snowden to be part of what he was building and sent him a respective offer. However, the American "did not take any action."
VKontakte founder said he was "shocked" by Snowden’s revelations as he had an "idealistic" view of the Western countries where authorities do not spy on their citizens. The leaks by ex-CIA employee "shattered my image of the Western world."
Edward Snowden is a computer expert who worked as a contractor for the US National Security Agency and leaked details of its mass surveillance programs to the press in 2013.
Snowden was later granted a temporary asylum in Russia after spending more than a month in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. In August 2014, Snowden received a three-year residency permit in Russia. He faces years of jail time in the US on espionage charges.