Tara Reade, a former political staffer who accused President Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993, has announced that she has moved to Russia and is seeking Russian citizenship. During an interview with the state-run Sputnik International network, Reade stated that she felt safe in Russia. Her move highlights the rare phenomenon of Americans choosing to move to Russia or seek its citizenship in the era of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Newsweek has provided a summary of some of the most prominent Americans who moved to Putin’s Russia, examining their motives and how they transitioned to a very different society.
Reade briefly worked for Biden as a campaign assistant in Washington, D.C., from December 1992 to August 1993. On one day, in 1993, Reade alleges, she was told to deliver a bag to the future president in the Capitol Hill complex. Speaking to CNN, she alleged that, after finding Biden, he « had me up against the wall; he used his knee to spread open my legs, » then « put his fingers inside me. » In 2020, Biden insisted the reported assault « never happened, » adding: « Responsible news organizations should examine and evaluate the full and growing record of inconsistencies in her story, which has changed repeatedly in both small and big ways. »
Other prominent Americans who have moved to Russia include Edward Snowden, Steven Seagal, and John McIntyre. Snowden leaked more than 7,000 top-secret documents in 2013, revealing details of U.S. and British intelligence operations, and was later granted Russian citizenship. Seagal, a direct-to-video action movie star, became one of the most outspoken supporters of Putin during the 2010s and was granted Russian citizenship in 2016. McIntyre, a former U.S. soldier, joined Ukraine’s International Legion after the Russian invasion in 2022, before defecting to Moscow’s side in February 2023.
The move by Reade to Russia and her request for Russian citizenship has raised eyebrows and sparked discussions about the motivations behind such a move. While some may see it as a way to escape the scrutiny and criticism that comes with being a public figure in the U.S., others may view it as a political statement or a way to align with Putin’s regime. Regardless of the reasons behind the move, it is clear that the phenomenon of Americans moving to Russia or seeking its citizenship is a rare but not insignificant one.
Keywords: Tara Reade, Joe Biden, sexual assault, Russia, citizenship, Edward Snowden, Steven Seagal, John McIntyre.
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