Putin ‘one brick’ closer to ‘eventually’ toppling as Russian diplomat quits in protest

Putin: Russian officer reveals why he quit

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Boris Bondarev, a veteran Russian diplomat in Geneva, has resigned over the “special military operation” today, on May 23. He has worked with the Russian Foreign Ministry for around 20 years.

Bondarev was clear the war was his reason for leaving his post, highlighting: “Never have I been so ashamed of my country.”

The public statement released upon his resignation came as a blow to Putin.

The former diplomat described this as the first of many steps which could lead to the Kremlin leader’s demise.

He told Steve Rosenberg, Russia Editor for the BBC: “I don’t think it will change a lot, frankly.

“But it may be one little brick in the bigger wall which will eventually be built.”

In his damning statement, Bondarev said: “Russia no longer has allies, and there is no one to blame but its reckless and ill-conceived policy.”

The decision to resign, he added, was “very simple”.

Bondarev wrote: “When you see that your country is doing the worst things and being a civil servant you’re somehow related to that, it’s your decision just to terminate your connection with the Government.

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“We all must be responsible. And I don’t want to have any responsibility for what I don’t approve of.”

His resignation is one of the most significant since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

But reports suggest his views are held by many more officials.

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Professor Michael McFaul congratulated the move in a post on Twitter.

The former US Ambassador to Russia said: “I know that many other Russian officials share your views.

“Hope they will now have the courage to follow your lead.”

A number of Kremlin insiders last month told Bloomberg they viewed the invasion of Ukraine as a catastrophe.

They spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing consequences for airing their views, and insisting there was “no chance” of changing Putin’s mind.

Among their concerns was the long-term damage the war in Ukraine will have on Russia itself, which is expected to remain more isolated than before on the world stage for years, perhaps even decades to come.

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