Since Russia began to invade Ukraine in the latter part of February 2022, there have been mixed opinions about Russia’s incursion. Some people are in favor of it and are eager to have the Soviet Union put back together once again. Others are upset at President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin and their military for executing this kind of operation.
For Russian diplomat Boris Bondarev, the initial attack on February 24 was too much to bear. In response, he announced his resignation from his position at the UN headquarters in Geneva and sent out an angry letter to colleagues in the foreign sector. In the letter, he attacked other foreign leaders, encouraging them to do more to assist the Ukrainians.
“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.” Bondarev believes the incident can be “not only a crime against the Ukrainian people but also, perhaps, the most serious crime against the people of Russia… crossing out all hopes and prospects for a prosperous free society in our country.”
This is almost unheard of in Russia. For someone to declare the things Putin is doing as an error or even to take a stand against the Kremlin in public is not commonplace. Like in the former Soviet Union, life is still a bargain in Russia. Yes, if you're an oligarch, you will be protected by your wealth and a well-known name. But it only takes you out of Russia; it does not guarantee your security or the safety of your family members when returning to Russia.
Given the bad rap Putin and Russia have earned (and a reputation for causing the disappearance of certain people), Bondarev might be the only diplomat who has the courage to voice his displeasure with their policies. But he's also willing to go to battle should Putin decide to throw one of his own.
In an interview with the AP, Bondarev said, “It is inexplicably unacceptable the way my government is acting currently. Being a public servant, I must bear the burden of this, and I don't intend to do that… Am I worried about the potential reaction from Moscow? I must be worried over the possibility of a reaction from Moscow… There are many Russian diplomats are warmongers. They're reasonable. However, they need to be quiet about their opinions. If my case gets prosecuted and other people would like to follow my example it, they won't.”
He is completely convinced of the work he's doing and is totally opposed to the conflict. It appears as if it comes from a greater need to reach out in order to end the conflict. He is determined to see peace throughout the world instead. Not peace under Russian rule, mind you, but true peace throughout the world. This is a great idea.
Noble but blind. The Russian government does not want to have peace in the world. Their vision of peace is a sham to Americans as well as the citizens of several other nations around the world. To counter this, Putin, the Kremlin, and many others will do whatever is required to ensure that the world is in the same state of devastation as they are.
Bondarev is maintaining his positive outlook for the moment. He is still in Geneva. The diplomat has shared his declaration on LinkedIn and is looking for work at present. Certain people, such as Hiller Neuer, believe this should confer him with the status of hero–along with other Russian diplomats who have defected– and he should be given security and protection from financial risk, even resettlement. However, the fact that you're a hero doesn't mean that we should give you everything.