Bondarev resigned on Monday after 20 years at the UN headquarters in Geneva in protest against Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The diplomat made the decision to resign on the day the war began.

However, the implementation took some time due to security concerns. “I’m not a hero. But my parents brought me up like this: a person has to have an opinion and then act accordingly,” says Bondarev.

He was also critical of ex-colleagues from the Russian delegation. “They know full well that the propaganda isn’t true, but they still spread it because it’s their duty,” he explained.

Even if these colleagues in particular were probably shocked by his resignation, most of the news about his resignation was positive and encouraging overall. “There are many Russian diplomats who are close to doing the same thing as me,” Bondarev continued.

The Kremlin had distanced itself from him after the Russian diplomat’s dismissal. “One can probably only say here that Mr. Bondarev is no longer with us – rather that he is against us,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday, according to a report by the Interfax news agency.

Peskov said: “He condemned the actions of the Russian leadership – and the actions of the Russian leadership are supported by practically the entire population of our country. This means that this gentleman spoke out against the generally prevailing opinion of our country.”