Russian diplomat at UN in Geneva resigns due to war in Ukraine


DAVOS, SWITZERLAND (AP) — A veteran Russian diplomat at the UN Secretariat in Geneva said he had resigned before sending a poignant letter to foreign colleagues accusing President Vladimir Putin of an “aggressive war” in Ukraine.

Boris Bondarev, 41, confirmed his resignation in a letter from the Russian mission after a Russian diplomat delivered his English-language statement to the Associated Press on Monday morning.

He mentioned the date of the invasion of Russia, saying, “I have seen a different direction in foreign policy in my 20 years of diplomacy, but I have never been so ashamed of my country as February 24 of this year.”

Bondrev, a diplomatic adviser focused on Russia’s role at disarmament conferences in Geneva after serving in Cambodia and Mongolia and elsewhere, reached out by phone and confirmed his resignation in a letter to Ambassador Gennady Gatilov.

A mission spokesperson did not immediately respond to calls and text messages from the AP requesting comment.

Russian President Vladimir Putin presides over a meeting with members of the Security Council via teleconference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia on May 20, 2022. (Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

The resignation is not unprecedented among Russian diplomatic corps at a time when Putin’s government is trying to quell opposition to the invasion and quell conflicting stories, but it is not without precedent that Russia’s public acknowledgment of its dissatisfaction with the war in Ukraine. . This is the government’s position on how the officially known “special military operation” is going in Russia.

“What our government is doing now is intolerable,” Bondarev told the Associated Press. “As a public official, I have to take responsibility for that, but I don’t want to.”

Bondarev said he had not yet received any response from Russian officials, but added: You have to take care.”

When asked if some of his colleagues felt the same, he added: “Not all Russian diplomats promote war. He’s reasonable, but you have to keep your mouth shut.”

He suggested that his case could serve as an example.

“Once my case is prosecuted, other people will want to follow, but they won’t,” he suggested.

In his English-language statement emailed to about 40 diplomats and others, Bondarev said those who planned the war “only want one thing: to stay in power forever, live in lavish and tasteless palaces, and ride yachts comparable to tonnage.” It has unlimited power and complete immunity, and pays the entire Russian Navy.”

He denounced the growing “lying and unprofessionalism” of the Russian Foreign Ministry, specifically targeting Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “For 18 years, he has been a professional and educated intellectual… And they threaten the world (i.e. Russia) with nuclear weapons!”

“Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not a place for diplomacy. It all promotes war and is all about lies and hatred.”

Bondarev told the Associated Press he had no plans to leave Geneva.

“Boris Bondarev is a hero,” said Hiller Neuer, director of advocacy group UN Watch.

“Bondrev should be invited to speak in Davos this week,” he said. You have to lead,” he added. “Security and resettlement of diplomats and their families”

Follow the AP’s report on the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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