Animal eyes sent to six Ukraine embassies in Europe

‘Bloody packages’ follow spate of letter bombs to high-profile targets in Spain

A courier attempts to deliver packages as police cordon off the area outside the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid after a suspicious envelope arrived. Reuters
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Packages containing animals’ eyes have been sent to Ukrainian embassies and consulates in six European countries in recent days, a Ukrainian official said.

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 “we are studying the meaning of this message”.

Mr Nikolenko said the packages, soaked in a liquid with a distinctive colour and smell, 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 several explosive parcels found in Spain this week.

“We have reasons to believe that a well-planned campaign of terror and intimidation against embassies and consulates of Ukraine is under way,” Mr Nikolenko wrote, quoting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

They were sent to high-profile targets in Spain related to the war in Ukraine, including the United States' embassy, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, the Defence Minister, an arms manufacturer, an airbase and a European satellite centre.

Police officers stand guard as they cordon off the area next to the US embassy in Madrid after a suspicious envelope was found. AP

In addition, the entrance to the residence of the Ukrainian ambassador to the Vatican was vandalised and the embassy in Kazakhstan was warned of an attack with explosives, though that was not confirmed, Mr Nikolenko said.

In Poland, a spokesman for the police in Warsaw confirmed by email that a package arrived at Ukraine’s 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 detail. Mr Marczak said he was not aware of any such parcel arriving at Ukraine’s embassy in Warsaw.

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.

Updated: December 02, 2022, 2:52 PM