A top Russian diplomat has resigned his post with a scathing letter attacking Russia's war in Ukraine and what he described as his country's political degradation, according to multiple reports.
"Never have I been so ashamed of my country as on February 24 this year," wrote Boris Bondarev in a letter sent to diplomats on Monday and shared by the nonprofit organization UN Watch.
Bondarev represented Russia at its mission to the UN in Geneva, Switzerland, UN records show.
His letter had numerous stinging comments about Russia's political elites and its foreign policy.
"Those who conceived this war want only one thing — to remain in power forever, to live in pompous tasteless palaces, sail on yachts comparable in tonnage and cost to the entire Russian navy, enjoying unlimited power and complete impunity," the letter read.
He said the work of the Russian Foreign Ministry had been reduced to "propaganda cliches in the spirit of Soviet newspapers in the 1930s."
He reserved particular ire for his former boss Sergey Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, saying the once-respected diplomat now leads a department that "is all about warmongering, lies and hatred."
The war in Ukraine is not only a crime against the Ukrainian people, he wrote, but also a crime against Russians.
Bondarev confirmed the letter as genuine to the Associated Press.
UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer called Bondarev "a hero," and shared a copy of the letter on Twitter:
BREAKING: Russia’s Counsellor to the United Nations in Geneva has resigned.— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) May 23, 2022
Boris Bondarev: “Never have I been so ashamed of my country.”
UN Watch is now calling on all other Russian diplomats at the United Nations—and worldwide—to follow his moral example and resign.
An administrator for the Russian mission to Geneva did not confirm the resignation to Insider but said it would later issue a statement.
Bondarev said he served as a diplomat since 2002 and has represented Russia to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland since 2019.