The former US National Security Agency employee received a commemorative medal from the Zinovyev Institute, a private foundation for the study of creative writings of Russian writer and philosopher Alexander Zinovyev, Xinhua reported.
"We award the medal to the freest citizen of the world, Edward Snowden," a Russian news agency quoted Zinovyev's widow, Olga Zinovyeva, as saying.
Snowden did not attend the ceremony as he has been keeping a low profile since he was granted asylum in Russia in August 2013.
Zinovyeva described Snowden as a brave man who has demonstrated "citizen's courage and high ethical standards", adding that the institute hopes to hand over the medal to Snowden in person.
Snowden faces three felony charges, including espionage, after he unveiled a highly classified US intelligence project code-named PRISM.
The US and Russia have been at odds over Snowden's extradition, with Moscow repeatedly denying the case, citing absence of relevant bilateral agreements.