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‘Ashamed’ Russian diplomat in Geneva resigns in protest against war in Ukraine

United Nations in Geneva (John Samuel/WikiCommons)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

A diplomat at Russia’s Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva says he has resigned in protestat the “needless” war Russia has launched against Ukraine.

Boris Bondarev said in a statement placed on his LinkedIn page on May 23 that he has “never been so ashamed of my country as on February 24,” when Russia launched an invasion of its neighbor.

“The aggressive war unleashed by [Russian President Vladimir] Putin against Ukraine, and in fact against the entire Western world, is not only a crime against the Ukrainian people, but also, perhaps, the most serious crime against the people of Russia,” Bondarev, who identifies himself on LinkedIn as a counsellor at the mission who worked on arms control, wrote.

“Those who conceived this war want only 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. To achieve that they are willing to sacrifice as many lives as it takes. Thousands of Russians and Ukrainians have already died just for this,” Bondarev’s statement added.

There was no immediate comment from the Russian permanent mission to the UN.

Bondarev confirmed the statement to both Reuters and the Associated Press, telling Reuters that he started to imagine making such a move a few years ago “but the scale of this disaster drove me to do it.”

He added that he had raised concerns about the invasion with senior embassy staff, only to be told to “keep my mouth shut.”

“I studied to be a diplomat and have been a diplomat for twenty years. The ministry has become my home and family. But I simply cannot any longer share in this bloody, witless, and absolutely needless ignominy,” Bondarev concluded in his statement.

The Kremlin has misleadingly portrayed its invasion of Ukraine, which has involved tens of thousands of troops, as an effort to root out “Nazis” and other extremists. Thousands of Ukrainian civilians have died in the war despite claims by Russia that it has not targeted them.