Here are my thoughts on Snowden in Russia. I haven’t read this anywhere. It’s pure conjecture on my part.
I have to believe that Snowden isn’t the only traitorous former NSA consultant or employee to abscond with United States national secrets. He is simply currently the most vocal. I’m sure others have come before him, but were very quiet about their activities, preferring the traditional route of selling the clandestine information to hostile governments. Accordingly I would guess that Russia already has (and has had for a long time) all the information that Snowden currently has to offer, probably purchased from more secret sources.
When Putin says that he doesn’t want Snowden to hurt his American partners (right!), what he’s really saying is that he already has all the information Snowden has to offer. And furthermore he’d like to pretend that he doesn’t have said information. It’s better for Russia this way that the United States not know what Russia knows. If Snowden releases his data, then all the same data that Putin secretly has had all along will become worthless. Thus Putin’s glib dance, faking concern for American security. I don’t buy it for a second.