In a telling indication of the brewing discontent among Russians regarding the invasion of Ukraine, a Russian diplomat to the United Nations in Geneva bashed the war as he resigned.
Boris Bondarev, counsellor at the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, confirmed his resignation on Monday, saying he had delivered his message to Gennady Gatilov, the permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the U.N. Office in Geneva.
“For twenty years of my diplomatic career I have seen different turns of our foreign policy, but never have I been so ashamed of my country as on February 24 of this year,” Bondarev wrote in a letter addressed to his colleagues.
“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 also, 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,” the letter continued.
“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,” he charged. “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 targeted the Russian Foreign Ministry in his letter, snapping, “I regret to admit that over all these twenty years the level of lies and unprofessionalism in the work of the Foreign Ministry has been increasing all the time. However, in recent years, this has become simply catastrophic. Instead of unbiased information, impartial analysis and sober forecasting, there are propaganda clichés in the spirit of Soviet newspapers of the 1930s. A system has been built that deceives itself.”
“Minister Lavrov is a good illustration of the degradation of this system,” Bondarev said of Sergei Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of Russia. “In 18 years, he went from a professional and educated intellectual, whom many my colleagues held in such high esteem. to a person who constantly broadcasts conflicting statements and threatens the world (that is, Russia too) with nuclear weapons!”
“Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not about diplomacy,” Bondarev concluded. “It is all about warmongering, lies and hatred. 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. 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.”
BREAKING: 🇷🇺 Russia’s Counsellor to the United Nations in Geneva has resigned.
Boris Bondarev: “Never have I been so ashamed of my country.”
UN Watch is now calling on all other Russian diplomats at the United Nations—and worldwide—to follow his moral example and resign.
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) May 23, 2022
Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, lauded Bondarev for his public admission, calling him a “hero” and adding, “We are now calling on all other Russian diplomats at the United Nations—and worldwide—to follow his moral example and resign.”
Exclusive: Russia’s counsellor to the UN resigned, the most senior diplomat to defect since the war began. "Boris Bondarev is a hero," said UN Watch's Hillel Neuer. "We call on all other Russian diplomats worldwide to follow his moral example and resign."https://t.co/MRVbUkZaSj
— UN Watch (@UNWatch) May 23, 2022
Bill Browder, the founder of Hermitage Capital, also praised Bondarev, writing, “This is an unbelievable letter below from a top Russian diplomat denouncing Putin in no uncertain terms. This is the language that all Russian officials and oligarchs should use if they have any chance of being treated gently by the West.”
This is an unbelievable letter below from a top Russian diplomat denouncing Putin in no uncertain terms. This is the language that all Russian officials and oligarchs should use if they have any chance of being treated gently by the West. https://t.co/r0LqH3RQRg
— Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) May 23, 2022