On Monday, a Russian diplomat working at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva publicly submitted his letter of resignation in a protest against the Russian military action in Ukraine.
Boris Bondarev was a member of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 20 years. The UN lists Bondarev as a counselor to the Russian Foreign Mission to the UN, which he has held since 2019.
He announced his resignation in an email to diplomats at the UN. The New York Times independently confirmed through UN sources that they received the email. The Times also spoke with Bondarev over the phone, and he confirmed the validity of the email.
In his email, Bondarev said, “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.”
February 24 is a reference to the date the invasion began.
“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,” Bondarev continued.
The email also claims that Russian leaders conceived of the war to stay in power forever and live luxurious, splendid lifestyles. He added that the Foreign Ministry has become a propaganda machine and compared it to 1930’s-era Soviet newspapers.
He claimed the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is simply about hate, warmongering, and lies.
In addition to his statements about President Putin, Bondarev also called out Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who he suggested was emblematic of the current situation.
Bondarev claimed Minister Lavrov used to be a “respected professional and highly educated man” but is now a purveyor of lies who “threatens the world, including Russia itself, with the use of nuclear weapons.”
Sky News asked if any of Bondarev’s colleagues felt the same as him.
“Not all Russian diplomats are warmongering. They are reasonable, but they have to keep their mouths shut,” the former diplomat responded.
He told Sky that he fears for his safety after the resignation and has no immediate plans to leave Geneva. He ruled out any potential return to the Russian Federation, at least for the time being, suggesting that his prospects would be “maybe not very pleasant.”
Hillel Neuer, executive director of the United Nations Watch advocacy group, saluted Bondarev for his actions and called on other Russian diplomats to follow his lead.
The Daily Caller said Bondarev is the highest-profile resignation from the Russian Federation since the military action in Ukraine began.