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-- Kossack Blue Wind has the initial report on this story, linked HERE.
-- Live updates from the NYT's Lede Blog may be accessed via THIS LINK.
-- Live updates from the Guardian (h/t to Kossack Lady Libertine) available via THIS LINK.

I’m primarily posting this as an information note for those in the community following this story. The NY Times Lede blog is currently “tracking” Snowden, with updates posted as they come to light. It appears to be an excellent, up-to-the-minute source, too.

Live Updates on Snowden’s Departure From Hong Kong
NY Times Lede Blog
June 23,  2013 1:34PM

Two days after the United States charged him with espionage, Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who has admitted to disclosing classified information about the country’s government surveillance, is seeking asylum in Ecuador after leaving Hong Kong on Sunday, the foreign minister of Ecuador posted on Twitter. As our colleagues Keith Bradsher and Ellen Barry report, Mr. Snowden took a flight to Moscow, where he remained at the airport on Sunday. The Lede will be providing live updates.

1:34 P.M. WikiLeaks Says Snowden Is Bound for Ecuador

WikiLeaks has released a updated statement saying that Mr. Snowden “is bound for the Republic of Ecuador.”

The statement:

Mr. Edward Snowden, the American whistle-blower who exposed evidence of a global surveillance regime conducted by U.S. and U.K. intelligence agencies, has left Hong Kong legally. He is bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.

Mr. Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. Once Mr. Snowden arrives in Ecuador his request will be formally processed.

Former Spanish Judge Mr. Baltasar Garzon, legal director of WikiLeaks and lawyer for Julian Assange, has made the following statement:

“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.”

Here’s an article from the NYT’s Keith Bradsher and Ellen Barry, which is currently the top story at the newspaper’s website…
Snowden Said to Plan Asylum in ‘Democratic Country’
NY Times
June 23, 2013

HONG KONG — The Hong Kong government announced Sunday afternoon that it had allowed the departure from its territory of Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who has acknowledged disclosing classified documents about United States government surveillance of Internet and telephone communications around the world.

The government statement said that Hong Kong had informed the United States of Mr. Snowden’s departure.

A Moscow-based reservations agent at Aeroflot, Russia’s national airline, said Mr. Snowden was aboard flight SU213 to Moscow, traveling on a one-way ticket to Moscow. The Aeroflot flight landed in Moscow on Sunday afternoon.

Mr. Snowden’s final destination was unclear, but there were signs that it might be beyond Moscow…

12:03 PM PT: Here's a link to an article in The Guardian, from the past hour, which provides some colorful background on what's happened/happening in Moscow: "Whistleblower Snowden escapes arrest in Hong Kong thanks to US errors." Based upon this story, Snowden's checked-in to a hotel in the airport for the evening.

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