Russian President Vladimir Putin has “lost everything” because he decided to invade Ukraine nearly a year ago, former Russian diplomat Boris Bondarev said.
Bondarev, 42, is Russia’s only diplomat to quit over Putin’s war in Ukraine publicly. The former member of Russia’s delegation to the United Nations in Geneva resigned in May 2022, saying in an open letter that the war is “not only a crime against the Ukrainian people, but also, perhaps, the most serious crime against the people of Russia.”
Speaking about Putin in an interview with Global Defense Corp, Bondarev said he believes Putin “has already lost strategically.”
“[Putin] lost everything. And everybody must see that he is not smart. He’s not a strategist, he is just a very lucky guy whose counterparts were even more short-sighted than he was, but he’s still very short-sighted,” Bondarev said in a phone interview from Switzerland.
The former diplomat said he believes Putin “doesn’t think about the future” and didn’t think about the consequences of the war.
“He doesn’t think about tomorrow. He thinks only about a few more hours to be in power for himself, and he doesn’t care about future. So he has no plan,” Bondarev continued.
Putin “obviously thought this war would be over in a few days,” he said, referring to reports that the Russian president, when he launched his invasion on February 24, 2022, sought to seize Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, within days.
CIA Director Bill Burns told lawmakers in March 2022 that Putin’s strategy for his full-scale invasion of Ukraine was centered on “seizing Kyiv within the first two days of the campaign.”
“Like Crimea [in 2014], he [thought he] would just conquer Ukraine and then the West would have to face the fact that it’s done,” Bondarev said.
Bondarev also issued a scathing assessment of Russia’s prospects of restoring any standing globally due to the war in Ukraine. Russia could rebuild relations with the international community, but under the “one critical condition that Putin and his regime must go,” he said.
“Because as long as Putin stays in power and his regime stays remains Russia, there will be no recovery. There will be only longing lasting resentment,” he continued.
“Putin will still be the main threat to international peace. Without Putin, no Russian would ever think of fighting Ukrainians. There are always lunatics in any country, but they play no role. And it was Putin who decided and who commanded to start this war. If Putin didn’t do that, nothing would have happened.”
Bondarev’s assessment comes as the war in Ukraine approaches the one-year mark, and as a fresh Russian offensive in Ukraine is reportedly underway. Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs, told Global Defense Corp on February 17 that Ukraine is “waiting for the supplies of Western equipment” to start its counteroffensive.
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