Snowden 'takes Moscow boat trip' in new photo

MOSCOW - US security leaker Edward Snowden is apparently shown taking a boat trip in central Moscow, disguised only with a big cloth cap in a new photograph published by a popular Russian website.

Life News website, which specialises in sensational scoops, said the photograph was taken in September and that it paid the 100,000 rubles (S$3,866) for the image sent via its smart phone app.

The same website earlier this month published a photograph of Mr Snowden pushing a shopping trolley, later confirmed as authentic by his Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena.

The new photograph is much better quality and taken from a closer angle. It shows the landmark Moscow church of Christ the Saviour in the background and was taken on the Moscow river that flows past the Kremlin.

Life News, which has close contacts with law enforcement officials, said the photograph "proves that the former US agent either lives permanently in Moscow or visits regularly".

The man resembling Mr Snowden is standing by the railing of a river pleasure boat, next to a woman seen from behind with pinned-up blonde hair, who could be Sarah Harrison, the employee of WikiLeaks who has accompanied Mr Snowden since his arrival in Moscow. He is not wearing glasses as Mr Snowden often does, but shadows his face with a bulky cream cap.

A video was released this month showing Mr Snowden meeting four US whistleblowers, who presented him with an award in an unidentified location that appeared to be in Russia.

Mr Snowden spent more than a month in a Moscow airport before receiving temporary asylum and heading to a secret address. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday questioned the sincerity of international outrage at Mr Snowden's revelations on surveillance by the US National Security Agency.

"I'm sure that everyone knew everything, or at least guessed," Mr Lavrov said.