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Ukrainian embassies across Europe receive bloody packages containing “animal eyes”

Ukrainian embassies across Europe receive bloody packages containing “animal eyes”



CNN

More than ten letters containing explosives or animal parts were sent Ukrainian diplomats around the world, said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

“This campaign is aimed at sowing fear,” Kuleba told CNN’s Matthew Chance in an exclusive interview in Kyiv on Friday.

There were 17 cases of embassies receiving either bomb letters, fake bomb letters or letters containing animal parts, such as cow and pig eyes, he added.

CNN was shown a picture of one of the letters in which officials said a pig’s eyeball was inside a padded envelope.

“It started with an explosion at the Ukrainian embassy in Spain,” Kuleba said. “But what followed this explosion was even more strange, I would even say sick.”

Kuleba was referring to the explosion that occurred on Wednesday at the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid, in which a Ukrainian official who was holding a letter addressed to the country’s ambassador to Spain was injured. Spanish officials said Thursday A letter bomb was also sent to the country’s prime minister last week and another to the US embassy.

The embassies of Kiev in Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Croatia, Italy, Austria and the consulates general in Naples and Krakow also received suspicious packages, said Oleh Nikolenko, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ukrainehe posted on Facebook on Friday.

The packages were “soaked in a liquid of a distinctive color and had a corresponding smell,” he said. “We are investigating the meaning of this message.”

Ukraine has placed all of its overseas diplomatic posts under heightened security following a spate of suspicious mail.

The Ukrainian consulate in Brno, a city in the southeastern Czech Republic, was briefly evacuated on Friday after receiving a suspicious package containing animal tissue, Czech police added in a tweet on Friday.

When asked who he thinks is behind the letters, Kuleba told CNN: “I feel tempted to say, to name Russia right now, because first of all you have to answer the question, who does it benefit?”

“Perhaps this terrorist response is Russia’s response to the diplomatic horror we have created for Russia in the international arena, and this is how they are trying to fight back while losing real diplomatic battles one after another.”

He said he thinks Russia is either directly responsible, or someone “who sympathizes [with] Russian stuff and trying to spread fear.”

“The investigators will come to a conclusion, but I think these two versions make the most sense.”

CNN has reached out to the Kremlin for comment on the letters.

Kuleba previously called on foreign governments to guarantee maximum protection of Ukrainian diplomatic institutions in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

In addition to the suspicious packages, Nikolenko said the entrance to the ambassador’s residence in the Vatican was vandalized and that the Ukrainian embassy in Kazakhstan received a bomb threat, which was later unconfirmed.

Nikolenko also stated that the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States received a letter with a photocopy of a critical article about Ukraine. Most of the envelopes were sent from Europe, he added.

The Czech police announced on Twitter that the consulate in Brno and its immediate surroundings, including the kindergarten, were evacuated on Friday. After inspecting the package, the police announced that there were no explosives in it, adding that there was no information indicating that people in the consulate or its vicinity were in danger.

“The first analysis indicates that the package contained animal tissue. Now a detailed analysis will be done in the laboratories,” the police announced on Twitter.



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