A 20-year veteran of Russia’s diplomatic service announced on Monday his resignation to protest his country’s war against Ukraine, multiple media outlets reported.
In a rare public protest by a Russian official, Boris Bondarev, a diplomat seconded to the Russian mission to the United Nations in Geneva, released a statement on a LinkedIn account condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Russian foreign ministry criticized for its complicity, he described it as an “aggressive war” — language banned in Russia under wartime censorship laws.
“In twenty years of my diplomatic career I have seen various turns in our foreign policy, but never have I been as ashamed of my country as I was on February 24 this year,” Bondarev wrote, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to in to invade Ukraine. “The war of aggression unleashed by Putin against Ukraine and actually against the entire western world is not only a crime against the Ukrainian people, but perhaps also the most serious crime against the people of Russia, with a bold letter Z crossed all hopes and prospects for a prosperous destroy free society in our country.”
Reputable Russian business newspaper Kommersant reached out to Bondarev, who confirmed the post’s authenticity. The New York Times confirmed receipt of a letter of resignation by email to diplomats in Geneva.
The Russian mission to the United Nations in Geneva declined to comment to CNN on the matter, and Bondarev did not respond to messages sent to the LinkedIn account.
The LinkedIn post berated Russia’s leadership for corruption, saying, “Those who conceived this war want only one thing – to stay in power forever, live in pompous, tacky palaces, sail on yachts vast in tonnage and cost of the whole.” Russian Navy enjoy unlimited power and complete impunity. To achieve this, they are willing to sacrifice as many lives as necessary. Thousands of Russians and Ukrainians have already died for this alone.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry was also sharply criticized.
“Unfortunately, I have to admit that over the past twenty years, the level of lies and unprofessionalism in the work of the State Department has steadily increased. In recent years, however, this has become simply disastrous. Instead of unbiased information, impartial analysis and sober forecasting, there are propaganda clichés in the spirit of Soviet newspapers of the 1930s,” the post reads.
“Today, the State Department is not about diplomacy. It’s about warmongering, lies and hatred. It serves the interests of the few, the very few, and thus contributes to the further isolation and degradation of my country. Russia has no more allies and there is no one to blame except for its reckless and ill-conceived policies,” the Post continued.
The LinkedIn profile describes Bondarev as a veteran of the Russian diplomatic service with expertise in arms control and non-proliferation. The picture on the profile now has the hashtag #opentowork.
The US State Department said on Monday that Bondarev’s resignation shows that “despite the Kremlin’s propaganda, there are Russians who deeply disagree with what President Putin is doing in Ukraine and share our concerns about the danger he poses to… creates the whole world community”.
A State Department spokesman said it was encouraging that “many are willing to stand up to Putin,” noting that “it takes tremendous courage to stand up to an oppressor and it takes courage to face truth to power.” to say, especially given the long tenure of the Russian government and a terrible track record of trying to silence legitimate and peaceful protests and dissent.”
“The plummeting morale is clearly not limited to Russian forces fighting in Ukraine,” they said.
“Boris Bondarev’s statement underscores that people around the world, including in Russia and even within the Russian government, recognize the brutality of the Kremlin’s attack on the Ukrainian people,” the spokesman said. “They are doing this despite the Kremlin’s best efforts to fabricate and perpetuate disinformation.”