Ukrainian embassies across Europe receive 'bloody animal eye parcels'

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By Euronews, AP, Reuters
Police officers stand guard as other officers in yellow vests walk back at the cordoned off area next to the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022.
Police officers stand guard as other officers in yellow vests walk back at the cordoned off area next to the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022.   -  Copyright  Paul White/AP

Blood-soaked parcels containing animals' eyes have been sent to Ukrainian embassies and consulates in seven European countries in recent days, it emerged on Friday.

The "bloody parcels" were received by the Ukrainian embassies in Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Croatia and Italy, and by consulates in Naples, Italy; Krakow, Poland; and the Czech city of Brno, according to Oleg Nikolenko, a spokesman at Ukraine's foreign ministry.

A parcel containing animals' eyes was also sent to the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid, which was among six addresses in Spain that were sent letter bombs earlier this week. 

"The packages contained animal eyes," Nikolenko wrote in an update on his Facebook page on December 2. "The packages themselves were impregnated with a liquid of characteristic colour and had a corresponding smell."

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's foreign affairs minister, said the packages being sent to Ukrainian diplomatic buildings were part of a "well-planned campaign of terror and intimidation of Ukrainian embassies and consulates".

"Not being able to stop Ukraine on the diplomatic front, they try to intimidate us," he added. "However, I can immediately say that these attempts are futile. We will continue to effectively work for Ukraine's victory."

Spanish authorities reported that a total of six letter bombs were mailed to several offices in the country in the past week, including to Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez's office and the American embassy.

"This is clearly a new form of terrorism," Kuleba said of the letter bombs. "We are working very actively, together with the Spanish authorities, to find out who stands behind this. Of course, we have a guess about who this is, but we need to trace the entire network of agents and people involved in this campaign."

The Russian embassy in Madrid formally condemned the letter bombs on Thursday, saying in a tweet that "any threat or terrorist attack, especially those directed at diplomatic missions, are totally condemnable".

Nikolenko said the entrance to the flat of the ambassador to the Vatican had also been vandalised, and that the Ukrainian mission in Kazakhstan had received a bomb threat, "which was later unconfirmed". An embassy source in Rome said human faeces were left in front of the door.