A World Bank adviser has become the first Russian official to resign from a key role at an international agency in protest of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Boris Lvin, a senior adviser to the Washington-based financial institution’s Russian representative, revealed to World Bank board members and their staff last week his intention to resign. “In light of the events that are taking place, I can no longer associate myself with my administration and will have to resign from my position,” he wrote in an email.

Lvin, who has worked at the World Bank for more than 24 years, confirmed to the Financial Times that he had “officially stepped down” from his role on Tuesday. He added that this involved “very few sacrifices on my part, especially compared to what the Ukrainian people and the brave Russian protesters are currently enduring”.

Russian officials have either publicly supported or remained silent despite corporate, government and international condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine, which has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee the country.

Kremlin representatives refused to call the conflict a “war”, describing it instead as a “special military operation” and denied targeting civilians despite evidence of rising civilian casualties and destruction of urban areas.

Western powers have imposed a series of increasingly tough sanctions on Russia aimed at weakening its economy, while oil giant Exxon Mobil on Tuesday joined a growing list of companies that say they will cut ties with Russia to deal with war.

A few days ago, the head of the Russian delegation apologized “on behalf of all Russians who were unable to stop this conflict” at a major UN climate summit, saying he could not find “any reason” to apologize. .

Levine was a senior advisor to Roman Marshavin, executive director representing Russia and Syria on the World Bank Group Board of Directors. Lvin has previously worked for the Russian government and the International Monetary Fund.

World Bank Group President David Malpass and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a joint statement on Tuesday that they were “deeply shocked and shocked by the war.” Grief” and “stand with the Ukrainian people during these horrific developments”.

They said they planned to provide Ukraine with emergency financing, including $350 million in “budgetary support” from the World Bank that could be approved as early as this week.

In an update on Wednesday, nearly a week after the conflict, the Ukrainian military said Russian forces were launching bomb and missile attacks on cities across the country and trying to isolate the capital, Kyiv.

A World Bank spokesman declined to comment on Li Wen’s resignation. “We generally do not comment on the staffing of the executive director’s office.”

Additional reporting by James Politi and Colby Smith