Russian diplomat Boris Bondarev resigns over Ukraine war, saying he has ‘never been so ashamed of my country’ | World News
A veteran Russian diplomat has resigned over what he called the “catastrophe” of his nation’s invasion of Ukraine.
Boris Bondarev, 41, says he has “never been ashamed of my country” and the “war of aggression” waged by President Vladimir Putin’s forces.
He said what his government was doing was “unforgivable”.
Mr Bondarev, who worked for the country’s permanent mission to the United Nations in Geneva, added: “As a civil servant, I have to shoulder some of the responsibility for that and I don’t want to do it.”
Putin ‘survived the assassination’ – read the latest updates on the Ukraine war
“I went on a mission like any other Monday morning and I handed in my resignation and I walked out,” he said.
It was a rare political resignation in the three-month war.
When asked if some colleagues feel the same way, he said: “Not all Russian Diplomats are enthusiastic. They have a point, but they have to keep their mouths shut and eat money.”
Mr Bondarev, who served as an arms control adviser, suggested others could be publicly suspended in the event he was prosecuted.
“If my case is prosecuted, others will not,” he suggested.
Mr. Putin’s government has sought to crack down on dissent over Ukraine war and how what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation” is proceeding.
Mr Bondarev said those who decided to launch the war “wanted only one thing – to stay in power forever, to live in tasteless lavish palaces, to travel on yachts of the same tonnage and cost as the rest of the world.” the entire Russian Navy, enjoys unlimited power and complete impunity.”
He added: “Today, the State Department is not about diplomacy. It is all about resentment, lies and hatred.”
The Russians announced their withdrawal on the LinkedIn website.
“I studied to be a diplomat and have been a diplomat for 20 years,” he wrote.
“The (Russian Foreign Affairs) ministry has become my home and my family. But I simply cannot continue to participate in this bloody, senseless and completely unnecessary ridiculousness.”
Subscribe to the Ukraine War Diary on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and Speaker
He also said he has no plans to leave Geneva.
The West has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia and provided military support to Ukraine in response to the invasion.
“Boris Bondarev is a hero,” said Hiller Neuer, executive director of advocacy group UN Watch.
A spokesman for the Russian mission did not immediately respond to calls.
Read more about the Ukraine war:
Russian soldier jailed for life after killing unarmed Ukrainian civilians
More than eight million people displaced by conflict
Ukraine’s Message to Davos: Buying Russian Gas Funds Rape and Murder