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NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden Lands In Moscow, Wikileaks Claims It's Helping Him

23/06/2013 15:32 BST | Updated 23/06/2013 18:05 BST

Fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden has arrived in Moscow - and appears to be heading to Ecuador.

The South American country announced it had received an asylum request from the former data analyst.

Wikileaks claimed to be helping with the asylum request as he left Hong Kong on Sunday morning.

Snowden, who is wanted by the United States after leaking details of the National Security Agency's controversial surveillance activities, had been living in a hotel in Hong Kong as Washington filed extradition papers to attempt to have him flown to the United States.

As his Aeroflot flight touched down in Moscow just after 1pm UK time, Reuters and Russian news agencies reported that his final destination would be Venezuela with a stopover in Cuba.

And a car with an Ecuadorian flag was waiting outside the airport.

It was also claimed that Snowden would have to stay overnight in the airport as he does not have a Russian visa.

These reports had not been confirmed as a media scrum gathered in Moscow's arrivals lounge.

Meanwhile, Wikileaks claimed it was helping Snowden escape to "a democratic nation".

The 30-year-old was being "escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks", a whistle-blowing website said in a statement.

Wikileaks legal director Baltasar Garzon said: "The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr Snowden’s rights and protecting him as a person. What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange - for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest - is an assault against the people".

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