A 20-year veteran of Russia’s diplomatic service announced his resignation on Monday in protest of his country’s war with Ukraine, multiple media reports.
In a rare public protest by a Russian official, Boris Bondarev, a diplomat sent to Russia’s mission to the United Nations in Geneva, posted a statement on his LinkedIn account condemning the invasion. of Russia into Ukraine and criticizes what the Russian Foreign Ministry is complicit with. what he described as an “aggressive war” – language banned in Russia under wartime censorship laws.
“In my twenty-year diplomatic career, I have seen different turning points in our foreign policy, but never have I been as ashamed of my country as on February 24 this year.” , Bondarev wrote when referring to Russian President Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. . “The aggressive war waged by Putin against Ukraine, and in fact against the entire Western world, is not only a crime against the Ukrainian people, but, perhaps, the most serious crime against the people of Russia, with the letter Z in bold. have lost all hope and prospects for a prosperous free society in our country.”
Reputable Russian business newspaper Kommersant contacted Bondarev, who confirmed the authenticity of the post. The New York Times confirmed it had received emailed resignations to diplomats in Geneva.
The Russian mission to the United Nations in Geneva declined to comment on the matter to CNN, and Bondarev also did not respond to messages sent to the LinkedIn account.
The LinkedIn post criticized the corruption of the Russian leadership, saying: “Those who conceive of this war want only one thing – to stay in power forever, to live in tasteless lavish palaces, to walk on yachts of the same tonnage and cost as the entire Russian Navy, enjoying unlimited power and complete impunity.To achieve that, they are willing to sacrifice as many lives as they can. Thousands of Russians and Ukrainians have died just because of this.”
It also pointed to the Russian Foreign Ministry for its harsh criticism.
“I regret to admit that during the last twenty years the level of lies and unprofessionalism in the work of the State Department has increased. However, in most of recent years, this has simply become the case. Instead of unbiased, unbiased information, sober analysis and forecasting, there were cliché propaganda in the spirit of Soviet journalism in the 1930s, “said the post.
“Today, the State Department is not about diplomacy. It’s all about warming, lies and hatred. It serves the interests of a few, very few, thus contributing to isolation. and further deterioration of my country. Russia has no more allies, and no one is to blame but its reckless and ill-advised policy,” the post continued.
His LinkedIn profile describes Bondarev as a veteran of Russian diplomacy with expertise in arms control and nonproliferation. Photos on the profile are now tagged with the hashtag #opentowork.
The US State Department said on Monday that Bondarev’s resignation showed that “despite Kremlin propaganda, there are Russians who disagree deeply with what President Putin is doing in Ukraine and share a relationship Our concern is about the danger he is creating to the entire global community.”
A State Department spokesman said it was encouraging that “many people are willing to stand up to” Putin, noting that “it takes tremendous courage to stand up to the oppressor, and it requires courage to speak the truth in front of power, especially in the long run of the Russian government. and the terrible track record of trying to silence legal and peaceful protests and dissent. ”
“The morale is clearly not limited to the Russian military forces fighting in Ukraine,” they said.
“Boris Bondarev’s statement highlights that people around the world, including in Russia and even within the Russian government, are realizing the brutality of the Kremlin’s attack on the Kremlin,” the spokesman said. Ukrainian people. “They are doing so despite the Kremlin’s best efforts to produce and perpetuate disinformation.”