A Russian diplomat resigns over war, says he’s never been more ashamed of his country

GENVE: A diplomat from the Russian mission to the United Nations in Geneva resigned on Monday, out of shame over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, describing it as a crime against both countries. Boris Bondarev, an adviser in the Russian mission since 2019 who described himself as a 20-year veteran of the Russian Foreign Ministry, announced his resignation in an email sent to diplomats in Geneva on Monday. His resignation is the most high-profile gesture of protest made so far by a Russian diplomat over the war in Ukraine.
“During 20 years of my diplomatic career, I have seen several turns of our foreign policy, but I have never felt more ashamed of my country than I was on February 24 this year,” Bondarev said, referring to the date when President Vladimir Putin left Russia. troops into Ukraine. “The aggressive war unleashed by Putin against Ukraine and in fact against the entire Western world is not only a crime against the Ukrainian people, but perhaps the most serious crime against the Russian people,” he added. Diplomats in Geneva confirmed they had received the email. Bondarev, 41, is listed on the UN website as a counselor in the Russian mission; he sent the New York Times a copy of his diplomatic passport to confirm his identity. The Russian mission to the UN in Geneva has yet to issue a statement.
Bondarev, who dealt with disarmament issues and was described by Western officials in Geneva as a middle-class diplomat, expressed a bitter condemnation of Russia’s leadership. “Those who conceived this war want only one thing: to remain in power forever, to live in pompous tacky palaces, to sail on yachts comparable in tonnage and cost to the entire Russian navy, to enjoy unlimited power and complete impunity.” he said in a statement attached to his email to diplomats. “To achieve that, they are willing to sacrifice as many lives as necessary.” He added: “It has been three months since my government launched a bloody attack on Ukraine and it was very difficult to keep my mind more or less sane while they were losing all of theirs.” He should have resigned three months ago, he said, when Russia invaded, but had been delayed because he had unfinished family business and “must collect my resolve.”
He went on to sharply criticize the Russian Foreign Service and its chief diplomat, Sergey Lavrov. The ministry had been his home, he said, but in the past 20 years the lies and unprofessionalism had reached a level he described as “simply catastrophic.” “Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not about diplomacy. It’s all about warmongering, lies and hatred,” he wrote, adding to Russia’s isolation. “I just can no longer share in this bloody, senseless and absolutely unnecessary shame,” he wrote.

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