So, over the weekend, the NSA's chief external propagandist, Rep. Mike Rogers, made the ridiculous claim that Ed Snowden was somehow to blame
for Russia's aggressive actions against Ukraine. It would appear that the usual crew of Snowden haters (who never seem to have any evidence beyond "hunches") have gleefully jumped onto that bandwagon, insisting that Snowden must be helping the Russians
evade NSA surveillance. Based simply on (unproven) claims that the US intelligence community was somewhat taken by surprise by Russian moves in Crimea and Ukraine, folks like Joshua Foust and John Schindler -- both of whom have been leading the anti-Snowden conspiracy theories since about 3 seconds after Snowden was revealed -- are claiming that it's somehow obvious that Snowden must be working with the Russians to reveal the NSA's surveillance capabilities and how to get around them. Because apparently, Russian intelligence is so incompetent that they couldn't figure things out without the help of an American.
At best, these two seem guilty of quite an extreme form of confirmation bias. At worst, they seem to be pushing ridiculous conspiracy theories, based on absolutely nothing. The idea that Vladimir Putin and the FSB had to wait until Ed Snowden was effectively handed to them by the Americans pulling his passport (seems like Foust and Schindler conveniently forget that part...) in order to hide their plans to annex Crimea and get aggressive towards Ukraine seems positively unbelievable. However, it does show the extreme lengths some are willing to go to in order to smear Snowden based on no proof at all.
: Meanwhile, it appears that plenty of folks who actually work in intelligence say that Snowden has nothing to do
with the events in Crimea.