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Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov says that the Russian diplomat who resigned from his position and penned a letter publicly decrying the invasion of Ukraine is “no longer with us,” but “against us.”
Boris Bondarev, a Russian working with the United Nations in Geneva, sent in his resignation Monday, saying that he had “never been so ashamed” of his country as during the Ukrainian invasion.
“The Kremlin is not familiar with this letter. If he was an employee of the Foreign Ministry, then this is a question to the MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs],” said Peskov when asked of Bondarev’s resignation by CNN.
“Here we can only say that Mr. Bondarev is no longer with us, rather, he is against us.”
When asked to elaborate on what he meant by “against us,” Peskov added, “He has a position in which he condemns the actions of the Russian leadership, and the actions of the Russian leadership are supported by almost the entire population of our country. This means that this gentleman spoke out against the general consolidated opinion of our country.”
Bondarev’s condemnation was seen as unprecedented criticism of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by a Moscow official.
The Kremlin has largely cracked down on anyone in Russia voicing dissent about the war in Ukraine or expressing sentiment that conflicts with the government’s version of events.
In his letter, Bondarev slammed the propagation of “lies and unprofessionalism” at Russia’s Foreign Ministry.
The letter received praise from many outside Russia, including Hiller Neuer, the executive director of the advocacy group U.N. Watch, who tweeted a copy and said simply: “Boris Bondarev is a hero.”