Russian diplomat resigns in letter: Putin wants power forever

One of Russia's top diplomats resigns with AP|LinkedIn's most scathing resignation letter

Russian diplomat Boris Bondarevsent quit his job with a scathing resignation letter (Image: AP/LinkedIn)

One of Putin’s top diplomats has resigned, saying he’s never been so “ashamed” of his country.

Boris Bondarevsent sent his colleagues at the United Nations in Geneva a scathing letter denouncing the “war of aggression” “unleashed” by the Russian president.

The veteran bureaucrat’s outburst is a rare public expression of opposition to Putin from among the Russian elite.

But it follows a trend for brave Russians to speak out, three months to the day that Putin sent his troops into Ukraine.

Just last week, thousands of people suddenly began chanting “Fuck the war” in a crowded concert hall in St. Petersburg.

Mr Bondarev told the Associated Press: “It is unbearable what my government is doing now.”

He said those who conceived the war “want only one thing — to remain in power forever, to live in pompous, tasteless palaces, to sail on yachts comparable in tonnage and cost to the entire Russian Navy, unlimited power and utter enjoy impunity”.

A picture taken with permission from the passport photo page of Russian diplomat Boris Bondarev. Bondarev, a veteran Russian diplomat at the UN office in Geneva, says he tendered his resignation before sending a scathing letter to foreign colleagues on Monday, May 23, 2020, opposing the

Boris Bondarev was a senior diplomat at Russia’s UN office in Geneva (Image: AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting in Moscow, Russia on Thursday, May 5, 2022. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

The diplomat’s resignation will be another blow to Putin as it comes from one of Russia’s elite (Image: AP)

Mr Bondarev also said that the Russian Foreign Ministry is all about “warmongering, lies and hatred”.

On the battlefield, Russian forces stepped up their bombardment of the Donbass, the eastern industrial heartland of coal mines and factories that the Kremlin is so keen to conquer.

Cities not under Russian control are under constant fire, with a Ukrainian official accusing Putin’s forces of attacking civilians trying to flee.

FILE - An aerial view of a residential area devastated by Russian shelling in Irpin, near Kyiv, Ukraine, May 21, 2022. Americans are becoming less and less supportive of punishing Russia for starting its invasion of Ukraine when doing so is at the expense of the U.S. economy , a sign of rising fears of inflation and other challenges. That's according to a new survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, file)

Russian bombs have left a trail of devastation in Ukraine (Image: AP)

Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said three civilians died in Russian attacks on Monday as heavy fighting continued near the Luhansk region.

He said the Russians had laid waste to cities in an attempt to seize power.

Only about 320,000 people remain of the region’s pre-war population of 1.6 million.

“They’re killing us. They kill locals during the evacuation,” Mr Kyrylenko added.

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Justin Scacco

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