Powered by

17 Ukraine embassies receive suspicious packages, animal parts after letter bomb

Ukraine's foreign minister calls attack weird, sick

Blast in Spain Ukraine Embassy (File) Police officers stand outside Spain's Ministry of Defence after suspected explosive devices hidden in envelopes were mailed to the ministry, in the wake other packages sent to targets connected to Spanish support of Ukraine | Reuters

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that 17 Ukraine embassies of diplomatic missions have received suspicious packages and raised suspicions about Russia's hand behind the threat. 

“It started with an explosion at the embassy of Ukraine in Spain,” Kuleba said. “But what followed this explosion was more weird, and I would even say sick,” The Guardian reported quoting Dmytro Kuleba.

Kuleba said, “Maybe this terror response is the Russian answer to the diplomatic horror that we created for Russia on the international arena, and this is how they try to fight back while they are losing the real diplomatic battles one after another,” the publication reported.

Russia has denied any role in the explosion in Madrid. Earlier, Russia responding to the attack said, “Any terrorist threat or act, even more so directed against a diplomatic mission, is totally reprehensible.”

Earlier, Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleh Nikolenko wrote on Facebook that the bloody parcels were received by the Ukrainian embassies in Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Croatia and Italy, as well as by consulates in Naples, Italy; Krakow, Poland and the Czech city of Brno. He said that we are studying the meaning of this message.

“It's a very strong signal,” the Ukrainian consul in Naples, Maksym Kovalenko, said, confirming his office received two letters containing fish eyes at around 10.30am Thursday.

Nikolenko said the parcels arrived after a package containing an explosive device sent to the Ukrainian Embassy in Madrid ignited upon opening on Wednesday and injured an employee. That was one of multiple explosive parcels found in Spain this week.

Spain's Interior Ministry said police evacuated the Madrid embassy on Friday after another suspect package was detected. The ministry said the parcel was posted from outside Spain and might be part of the chain of mail sent to other embassies in Europe. Police were investigating the contents and did not find any explosives, the ministry said. 

“Elsewhere, the entrance to the residence of the Ukrainian ambassador to the Vatican was vandalized and the Ukrainian Embassy in Kazakhstan was warned of an attack with explosives, though that wasn't confirmed,” Nikolenko said. 

In Poland, a spokesman for the police in Warsaw confirmed by email that a package arrived at the Ukrainian Consulate in the Polish capital on Thursday that raised concern from one of the employees. “The police department for protecting diplomatic missions was notified and we quickly eliminated the danger,” spokesman Sylwester Marczak said. He provided no further details. 

Marczak said he was not aware of any such parcel arriving at the Ukrainian Embassy in Warsaw.

Police in Krakow, in southern Poland, did not confirm an incident at the consulate there but said a suspicious package was identified at a post office Thursday. Police said the contents were being examined but would not say to whom the package was addressed. 

In the Czech Republic, police said an X-ray scan found no explosives in a checked package, but they added later that animal tissue was found inside that has been submitted to laboratory tests.

All Ukrainian embassies and consulates have stepped up security measures. Nikolenko quoted Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba as saying that we have reason to believe that a well-planned campaign of terror and intimidation of Ukrainian embassies and consulates is taking place.

(With PTI inputs)

📣 The Week is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TheWeekmagazine) and stay updated with the latest headlines