NSA leaker Edward Snowden sought help at the Russian Consulate in Hong Kong two days before flying to Russia then got stuck at Moscow airport when Cuban authorities refused to allow a connecting Aeroflot flight to land in Havana if he were aboard, the respected Russian newspaper Kommersant reported Monday.

The newspaper cited unidentified sources in Snowden's circle and the Russian government for details on the former defense consultant's bizarre journey and extended stay at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.

Citing a Russian government official, Kommersant said Snowden appeared at the Russian Consulate in Hong Kong on his own initiative two days before his flight to Russia. It said he showed consulate officials his Aeroflot ticket to Havana via Moscow and appealed for their help under the international convention on the rights of refugees.