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Russia on Tuesday criticized comments by one of its longtime diplomats at the UN who resigned this week over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
“He is not with us, he is against us,” Russian Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Moscow-based media on Tuesday.
Boris Bondarev, who has served in the foreign ministry since 2002 and as an adviser to the Russian mission to the United Nations Office at Geneva since 2019, announced his resignation in a letter posted on LinkedIn.
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“During twenty years of my diplomatic career, I have seen different turns in our foreign policy, but never have I been so ashamed of my country as on February 24 of this year,” he wrote.
Bondarev said the “war of aggression unleashed by Putin” posed not only a threat to Ukraine, but also to a free Russian society.
In a scathing letter, he accused Kremlin officials of seeking to “stay in power forever” and “live in pompous and tasteless palaces”.
Peskov pushed back against the Russian diplomat and claimed that Putin’s war in Ukraine was supported by the majority of Russians.
“Mr. Bondarev is no longer with us,” Peskov said. “He criticizes the policy of the Russian leadership, which is supported by virtually the entire population of our country.
“As a result, this gentleman has spoken out against the consolidated opinion of our country,” he added.
Bondarev accused the Kremlin of employing 1930s Soviet-era propaganda practices and claimed to have seen the lies it employs about his nation multiply in recent years.
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“I regret to admit that in all of these twenty years the level of lies and lack of professionalism in the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has steadily increased. However, in recent years it has become simply catastrophic,” he said.
Russia has relied on a litany of propaganda tactics to gain support and shield the reality of war from its own people.
Putin has yet to declare war on Ukraine and continues to allege it is a ‘special military operation’ aimed at eradicating Nazism in Ukraine, despite the fact that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is Jewish and was democratically elected.
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Reports of mobile crematoriums first surfaced early in the war in an alleged attempt to conceal the number of soldiers killed in Ukraine.
Russia has also stifled anti-war protests and threatened thousands of Russian protesters with prison terms.
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