Former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden has applied for temporary asylum in Russia after three weeks holed up at a Moscow airport trying to avoid prosecution in the United States.
"He reached the conclusion that he needs to write an application for temporary asylum (in Russia), and this procedure has just been done," Anatoly Kucherena, a lawyer who met Snowden on Friday along with human rights activists, told Reuters.
"For now he is not going to go anywhere. For now he plans to stay in Russia," he said.
Snowden is seeking refuge in Latin America after leaking details of US government surveillance programmes, but has not risked taking any flight that might be intercepted by the United States.
More top news
Rain for the northwest, dry and cold elsewhere
Rejecting a showdown with Ed Miliband, David Cameron's terms sent to broadcasters reveal his deep dissatisfaction with the debate proposals.
The owners of what some people claim to be the 'Welsh Holy Grail' are offering a cash reward for the ancient artefact's safe return.