February 5, 2023

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Disgruntled Russian diplomat Boris Bondarev says Russia has “already lost the war”

On the LinkedIn social network, he describes himself as follows: Exiled Diplomat, settled in “nowhere” Mentions being open to any job offer. Since May 23, Boris Bondarev has almost disappeared and the spectacular announcement of his resignation from Russian diplomacy, after following the noble path since the beginning of the Putin era, he has served faithfully for twenty years (relations). The man now lives somewhere in Switzerland and managed to escape from Russia with part of his family. He is under the protection of the Swiss Federal Police pending political refugee status.

Are you afraid of reprisals after you quit? Critics of the regime sometimes come to sad conclusions…

I try to think about it as little as possible. Besides, I’m not sure I’m a big enough fish for the Kremlin to care about. Anyway, I accept what happened and whatever the consequences. It is my moral duty to speak openly about the shame this war represents for Russia, because for twenty years I have only spoken in commissioned service. And as time passed, it became less pleasant. Relations between Russian and Western diplomats have become increasingly stormy in recent years, particularly in Geneva. While my former colleagues continue to spout belligerent pronouncements everywhere, from Geneva to the UN, I feel comfortable speaking my mind.

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Is the Russian diplomatic service where you came from still at its former level of prestige?

In the 1990s, Russian diplomats were poorly paid. Many of them left the Ministry of External Affairs to earn money elsewhere. Of course, the one who left is the best. A quarter of a century later, we’re still there: the status quo of executives no longer exists. Also, diplomacy is only a tool in the service of a government’s foreign policy objectives, it is its mirror. If you aim for cooperation and harmonious relations with others, your diplomacy will support you. On the contrary, if you want to confront certain countries or the whole world and impose your will on others, He will comply. She is firm, determined and unyielding. Rude, or even worse: what we are currently seeing in Russia. Maria Zakharova, the ministry’s aggressive spokeswoman, epitomizes this posture. Russia is now a foil.

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