Snowden Leaves Airport (CNN) -- National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden's application for political asylum has been approved, and he has left a Moscow airport, Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told CNN on Thursday. Snowden has legal status in Russia for one year, Kucherena said, but the attorney would not disclose his location, citing security reasons. A former U.S. government contract employee, Snowden leaked to the media that the NSA had secretly collected and stored millions of phone records from accounts in the United States. The agency also collected information from U.S. companies on the Internet activity of overseas residents, he said. Lawmakers in Washington have built a criminal case against him, and Snowden has been at the center of a sensational story about government surveillance, privacy and leaking for almost two months. He had been living in limbo at the airport in Moscow. WikiLeaks, the secrets-busting site that has put itself firmly behind Snowden and another infamous leaker -- recently convicted Bradley Manning -- made its sentiments clear in tweets shortly after the news broke Thursday. WikiLeaks: Snowden asylum is a victory Dan Rather: Asylum is Snowden victory Lon Snowden on FBI offer Lon Snowden: NSA revelations 'shocking' "We would like to thank the Russian people and all those others who have helped to protect Mr. Snowden. We have won the battle -- now the war," WikiLeaks said on Twitter.