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A Russian diplomat to the United Nations has announced his resignation over the ‘aggressive war’ against Ukraine, saying he has never felt so ‘ashamed’ of his country after President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion earlier this year.
Boris Bondarev, a counsellor for the Russian mission at the United Nations in Geneva, announced his resignation to fellow diplomats in an email earlier today (Monday 23 May).
In his letter, Bondarev, 41, called out 24 February as a turning point – referencing the date that Putin’s attack on Ukraine officially began.
“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,” he wrote.
“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.
“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 said in the past 20 years, the ‘level of lies and unprofessionalism in the work of the Foreign Ministry’ has been been on the rise, but said it has become 'simply catastrophic’ in recent years.
“Instead of unbiased information, impartial analysis and sober forecasting, there are propaganda clichés in the spirit of Soviet newspapers of the 1930s,” he said, adding that a system has been built that ‘deceives itself’.
Bondarev’s resignation is the most high-profile gesture of protest against the war made by a Russian diplomat to date.
He went on to speak about Sergey Lavrov, a Russian diplomat who has served as the Foreign Minister of Russia since 2004, saying he is a ‘good illustration of the degradation of this system’.
“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!” Bondarev continued.
He concluded by arguing that, today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not about diplomacy but ‘warmongering, lies and hatred’, saying it serves the interests of ‘very few people’ - in turn ‘contributing to further isolation and degradation’ of Russia.
Bondarev added: “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.”
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information
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