It’s Goldilocks and the Russian bear, with Edward Fingerhands played by Blanche DuBois in the role of Goldilocks waltzing into the bear’s lair. “You aren’t the gentlemen I was expecting!”
I think that Edward “Fingerhands” Snowden needs to make a decision, and soon. Sheremetyevo is not Charles de Gaulle airport, where the western world standards he grew up with apply. He will not be allowed to live for years in the transit area as the French allowed Mr. Nasseri to do. And Mr. Nasseri was low profile. Edward is a global brand. If Putin becomes ticked off enough with the young idiot, Edward is going to find himself committing suicide against his will. The old black-ops master has no problem with the odd assassination if it serves the needs of his nation (as he perceives them). A certain Politkovskaya comes to mind, as does Alexander Litvinenko.
Snowden dearest needs to grasp in his hot little hands the fact that in Russia, the bothersome are not just prosecuted, they can come to bad ends. No, I don’t think that Mr. Snowden would get shot or poisoned with polonium-210. Russia would want to have plausible deniability in Snowden’s case. It would be hanging, or smothering, a drug overdose, or perhaps a robbery in the airport by another transient who stabbed him. The Russians are creative.
A convenient death in Russia (perhaps by a despondent Snowden) would serve both Russian national interests and American. It would be a large olive branch by Putin to the USA, and get rid of a pain in the tuckus, not just for Putin, but for a whole lot of Russian bureaucrats, to say nothing of the airport staff.
Thinking it over further, I can come up with an even better scenario the Russians could pull off. Edward tries to commit suicide (against his will of course) and is revived, but as a drooling idiot who can’t talk and is incontinent. That would put him in a medical category that would make Russia send him home on a special flight to his parents. That would serve American interests, because the trial could be dropped on medical grounds, thus preventing a drawn out and embarrassing trial. It would be as good a deterrent as any prison term.
The primary things I can see that holding them back from disposing of Mr. Snowden, are:
A. The Kremlin doesn’t want to deter others from coming to Russia with major secrets. The secrets part they really like! So Edward may have time.
B. Edward is acting like a Russian here. He has his head firmly up his ass, he’s adversarial, and doesn’t want to compromise. That’s so totally Russian.
But still – Edward needs to understand that he’s not playing by Marquis de Queensberry rules. He has this idea that the USA doesn’t play by them, nurtured on conspiracy theories and wild stories he has heard. What he never learned is that Russia is every nightmare of conspiracy theorists plus survivalists come true.