06/25/2013 04:37 pm ET Updated Aug 25, 2013

Edward Snowden Moscow Waiting Game Driving Journalists A Bit Mad


Reporters from around the world continued to play an increasingly frazzled waiting game on Tuesday as they camped out in Moscow's airport to try and catch a glimpse of NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has said that Snowden is in the transit area of the airport and is free to go whenever he chooses. Dozens of journalists thought that he was doing exactly that on Monday; they hopped on a plane to Cuba--only to find that, contrary to what they had been told, he was not on a flight.

Max Seddon, the AP's Moscow correspondent, spoke to the BBC on Tuesday about the experience.

"I'm in Venezuela right now without [Snowden]," Seddon said. He went on to discuss the "level of desperation" that set in among some of the journalists on the plane, to the point that one of them, a Russian producer, came up and asked if he was Edward Snowden.

Despite the hassle, Seddon said he thought the journey had been worth taking. However, he said, "I'm not quite sure how I'm going to react myself if I arrive in Moscow and just as I get off he's standing there waiting to board the same plane headed to South America."

Meanwhile, things appeared to be getting equally frantic in the airport. New York Times reporter Ellen Barry described a press corps seemingly going a bit mad with waiting on Thursday:

Journalists have spent days searching for Mr. Snowden in lounges and V.I.P. halls and behind locked doors throughout the transit zone, and at 3 a.m. one of them could be seen sitting dejectedly in a glassed-in smoking area. At times, the quest took on an air of desperation: reporters from a Russian tabloid covertly took photographs of a correspondent for The New York Times, then showed them to her and explained that they thought she might be Sarah Harrison, the WikiLeaks adviser who is believed to be traveling with Mr. Snowden.