Russian diplomat resigns over Ukraine war

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

The 41-year-old Boris Bondarev confirmed his resignation in a letter delivered Monday after a diplomatic official passed on his English-language statement to The Associated Press. Bondarev confirmed to the AP in a phone call that he had resigned.

“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 counselor 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 Amb. Gennady Gatilov.

“Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not about diplomacy. It is all about warmongering, lies and hatred,” he said, telling the AP that he had no plans to leave Geneva.

He says the Russian invasion was a crime not only against the people of Ukraine, but against the people of Russia. He says the war has wiped out “hopes and prospects for a prosperous and free society” in Russia.