Boris Bondarev, a counselor in the Russian mission since 2019 who described himself as a 20-year veteran of Russia’s Foreign Ministry, announced his resignation in an email sent to diplomats in Geneva on Monday. His resignation is the most high-profile gesture of protest so far made by a Russian diplomat over the war in Ukraine.
“For 20 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 Feb. 24 of this year,” Mr. Bondarev said, referring to the date that President Vladimir V. Putin sent Russian forces into Ukraine.
Diplomats in Geneva confirmed that they had received the email. Mr. Bondarev, reached by phone after responding to a message on his LinkedIn account, confirmed sending it to several dozen colleagues at other missions and said he had tendered his resignation Monday morning.
“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 and free society in our country,” Bondarev wrote, referring to the widespread use of the letter “Z” as a symbol of support for Russia’s war in Ukraine.
He railed against the growing “lies and unprofessionalism” at Russia’s Foreign Ministry and took particular aim at Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“In 18 years, he (Lavrov) went from a professional and educated intellectual … to a person who constantly broadcasts conflicting statements and threatens the world with nuclear weapons!” he wrote. “Today, the (Russian) Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not about diplomacy. It is all about warmongering, lies and hatred.”
In his English-language statement, which he said he emailed to about 40 diplomats and others, Bondarev said those who conceived the 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.”
It’s all laughs. Trump with the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, left, and the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, at the White House. The White House did not allow American news organizations to photograph the meeting. Images were released through the Russian Foreign Ministry. – May 10, 2017