‘Ashamed’ Top Russian Diplomat Leaves United Nations Over Putin’s ‘Warmongering’

·2 min read
Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters
Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

The counselor for the Russian mission to the United Nations in Geneva has resigned his post in shame with a damning hate letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine not only a crime against the people of Ukraine, but perhaps “the most serious crime against the people of Russia, with a bold letter Z crossing out all hopes and prospects for a prosperous free society in our country.”

Boris Bondarev had worked at Russia’s foreign ministry since 2002, first in Moscow and then in Geneva, during which he said “the level of lies and unprofessionalism in the work of the Foreign Ministry has been increasing all the time.” It is highly unlikely the former diplomat will go back to Russia, but there has been no confirmation about if he defected and, if so, to what country.

He name-checked Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who he said started as an intellectual held in high esteem, but who was now “a good illustration of the degradation of this system.” He blames Lavrov—not Putin—for many of Russia’s recent choices, condemning him for “threaten[ing] the world (that is, Russia too!) with nuclear weapons!”

He said Russia’s foreign ministry—which he has helped shape for two decades—is no longer a diplomatic mission. “It is all about warmongering, lies and hatred,” he wrote in his resignation letter. “It serves interests of few, the very few people thus contributing to further isolation and degradation of my country. Russia no longer has allies, and there is no one to blame but its reckless and ill-conceived policy.”

He said the war was conceived by people who are willing to sacrifice as many Russian and Ukrainian lives to achieve one thing: “to remain in power forever, live in pompous tasteless palaces, sail on yachts comparable in tonnage and cost to the entire Russian Navy, enjoying unlimited power and complete impunity.”

Bondarev is the first high-level foreign diplomat to bail over the war, and said that despite his 20 years in Russia’s service, he “simply cannot any longer share in this bloody, witless, and absolutely needless ignominy.”

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