Russian Diplomat Quits—and His Reason Will Shock You

Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

“Russian Diplomat Quits Over Ukraine” is quite a welcome change from the usual “Russian Diplomat Expelled for Spying” headlines.

Boris Bondarev resigned in protest on Monday from his Foreign Ministry post at the UN Office at Geneva, his letter flatly stating, “Never have I been so ashamed of my country.”


Written in English, Bondarev’s letter was delivered by an unnamed diplomatic source to the Associated Press.

It’s scathing:

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 February 24 of this year. 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 free society in our country.

Calling the Foreign Ministry “unprofessional,” Bondarev warned that it produces “propaganda clichés in the spirit of Soviet newspapers of the 1930s. A system has been built that deceives itself.”

“Today,” he continued, “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not about diplomacy. It is all about warmongering, lies, and hatred.”

CBS News called it “a rare — if not unprecedented — public admission of disgruntlement about Russia’s war in Ukraine.”

You can read the entire letter (including a screencap) by clicking here:


Russian Diplomat Quits

In a phone interview with the AP following his resignation, Bondarev said, “It is intolerable what my government is doing now,” and “As a civil servant, I have to carry a share of responsibility for that, and I don’t want to do that.”

“Am I concerned about the possible reaction from Moscow? I have to be concerned about it.”

In March, it became illegal in Russia to “discredit” the Russian army or even refer to the invasion of Ukraine as a “war.” Under the new law, Bondarev could be fined or even sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

Bondarev had worked until today on the UN’s Conference on Disarmament.

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