Russian diplomat resigns from UN office in Geneva over Ukraine war

Jamey Keaten Davos, Switzerland, The Associated Press

A veteran Russian diplomat to the U.N. Office at Geneva says he handed in his resignation before sending out a scathing letter to foreign colleagues inveighing against the “aggressive war unleashed” by President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine.

Boris Bondarev, 41, confirmed his resignation in a letter delivered Monday morning at the Russian diplomatic mission after a diplomatic official passed on his English-language statement to The Associated Press.

“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 Feb. 24 of this year,” he wrote, alluding to the date of Russia’s invasion.

Reached by phone, Bondarev – a diplomatic counsellor who has focused on Russia’s role in the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva after postings in places like Cambodia and Mongolia – confirmed he handed in his resignation in a letter addressed to Ambassador Gennady Gatilov.

A spokesman for the mission didn’t immediately respond to calls and a text message from the AP seeking comment.

The resignation amounts to a rare – if not unprecedented – public admission of disgruntlement about Russia’s war in Ukraine among the Russian diplomatic corps, at a time when Putin’s government has sought to crack down on dissent over the invasion and sought to quell conflicting narratives from the government line about how the “special military operation” – as it’s officially known in Russia – is proceeding.

“It is intolerable what my government is doing now,” Bondarev told the AP. “As a civil servant, I have to carry a share of responsibility for that, and I don’t want to do that.”

Bondarev said he had not received any reaction yet from Russian officials, but added: “Am I concerned about the possible reaction from Moscow? I have to be concerned about it.”

Asked if some colleagues felt the same, he added: “Not all Russian diplomats are warmongering. They are reasonable, but they have to keep their mouths shut.”

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About Cholo Brooks 17488 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.

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