Russian diplomat Boris Bondarev resigns over Ukraine war, saying he has 'never been so ashamed of my country'

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A veteran Russian diplomat has resigned over what he called the "disaster" of his nation's invasion of Ukraine.

Boris Bondarev, 41, said he had "never been so ashamed of my country" and the "aggressive war" waged by President Vladimir Putin's forces.

He said what his government was doing was "intolerable".

Mr Bondarev, who worked for the country's permanent mission at the United Nations in Geneva, added: "As a civil servant, I have to carry a share of responsibility for that, and I don't want to do that."

It is a rare political resignation over the war.

Asked if some colleagues felt the same, he said: "Not all Russian diplomats are warmongering. They are reasonable, but they have to keep their mouths shut."

Mr Bondarev, who worked as a counsellor on arms control, suggested others could be put off from also going public in the event that he is prosecuted.

"If my case is prosecuted, then if other people want to follow, they would not," he suggested.

Mr Putin's government has sought to crack down on dissent over the war and how what the Kremlin calls the "special military operation" is proceeding.

Mr Bondarev said those who decided to launch the war "want only one thing - to remain in power forever, live in pompous tasteless palaces, sail on yachts comparable in tonnage and cost to the entire Russian Navy, enjoying unlimited power and complete impunity".

He said he had no plans to leave Geneva.

Hiller Neuer, executive director of the advocacy group UN Watch, said: "Boris Bondarev is a hero."

A spokesman for the Russian mission did not immediately respond to calls.

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