Dugan: Time to get Putin’s fox out at UN

“Never have I been so ashamed of my country,” wrote Boris Bondarev, a Russian diplomat posted to the United Nations in Geneva, in his May 23 resignation letter.

Bondarev then condemned the war that Russia had started. “Those who engineered this war… are ready to sacrifice as many lives as it takes. Thousands of Russians and Ukrainians have already died just for this.”

This follows other high-ranking Russian defections, including President Vladimir Putin’s veteran special envoy Anatoly Chubais.

In March, Chubais resigned, fleeing his native country over the invasion of Ukraine. However, another Soviet-era UN apparatchik is nonetheless pursuing Putin’s bidding with impunity.

Because of his rank, he is aware of the most sensitive considerations of the UN intended to deal with the crisis.

Let’s call it what it is: Putin’s toad, Vladimir Voronkov, oversees the UN’s counterterrorism work while Putin executes the largest terrorist campaign in living memory.

UN member states have strongly condemned Russia, so why are they tolerating Voronkov’s ‘blind spot’ on Ukraine by keeping Putin on the path to geopolitical chaos?

The most disturbing thing is that Voronkov is in the cabinet of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

There, Voronkov wraps himself in the UN flag, while enjoying real-time access to sensitive, real-time UN talks and plans – vis-à-vis movements and threats of Cheese fries.

Are we to believe that Guterres does not see it?

Could he not appoint someone suitable to champion the fight against terrorism in the UN, especially in Ukraine at the present time? Why doesn’t Guterres demand Voronkov’s resignation?

This scenario must change immediately.

Every UN employee takes an oath of loyalty to the UN, not to take instructions from any government. Voronkov cannot have it both ways by placating two masters simultaneously.

As a duly placed international civil servant, he must denounce Russia’s war crimes and prepare an action plan against terrorism to be implemented by the UN.

This has definitely not arrived months after the onset of the crisis.

And where does the Biden administration stand when it comes to closing this rat hole?

He called for another expulsion of Russia from the UN, an unworkable exhortation.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield’s hyperbole might have been better spent on quietly arranging Voronkov’s departure.

Voronkov must resign immediately or be sacked by General Secretary Guterres.

So why does Putin’s Voronkov hold this critical UN post in the first place?

This is the UN loot system at work.

In 2016, the Kremlin sought to regenerate its access and influence in all UN operations to levels previously enjoyed by the Soviet Union. Putin dreamed of a skybox at the UN secretariat to put his eyes and ears on everything from command height.

So, in return for Russian backing to make Guterres the next secretary-general, Putin “suggested” his catbird Vladimir Voronkov for a top job at the UN tailored to place a Russian snitch in the executive suite.

New Secretary General Guterres then had to expand his cabinet with another top seat for the Russian, since all other leadership positions had been duly assigned to other major powers.

Thus, he delved into his bureaucracy and elevated his Counterterrorism Bureau into a field primed for Putin’s goals. Why didn’t the United States call foul?

In exchange, Obama promised to look the other way if Guterres kept Obama’s chief agent in place, regardless of whether Trump had been elected.

And so it happened.

Voronkov had been prepared according to Putin’s specifications.

In Soviet times, he got involved in the Polish Solidarity movement.

He then survived the collapse of the USSR.

He rehabilitated himself as head of the UN offices in Vienna.

There he brokered the controversial Iranian nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to Moscow’s satisfaction.

Finally, Voronkov arrived at the gates of Troy, the seat of the UN, to explore and exploit it.

It settled in like a low-level headache, inflating Russia’s capabilities and importance, to Putin’s satisfaction. This marked a return of Soviet-era influence after decades away from the UN cabinet.

Now, six years later, Voronkov has developed the bandwidth to thwart UN efforts to isolate and contain Putin – Ukraine or bust.

The net effect?

Voronkov extends Putin’s terrorism into the very chambers where the opposite is so desperately needed from a counter-terrorism czar.

He must leave immediately.

Perhaps then the lazy UN could begin to fulfill its mission – the maintenance of world peace and security.

Hugh Dugan served as senior director for international organizations affairs on the National Security Council after advising 11 U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations since 1989.

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