Eighteen Ukrainian diplomatic missions in 12 countries received the bloody packages in what Ukraine described as an “activity of terror and intimidation”. Oleh Nikolenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s foreign ministry, said the packages were simultaneously sent from a European country, which he could not disclose while the investigation was ongoing.
As of Friday, Ukraine said 17 embassies had been targeted, suggesting another was delivered on Saturday.
On Wednesday, an employee of the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid was injured by a letter bomb addressed to the Ukrainian ambassador to Spain.
Four other mail bombs were sent to addresses in Spain on Wednesday, including a Spanish arms maker that made rockets and donated them to Ukraine, as well as Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and the U.S. embassy in Madrid.
In an interview with CNN on Friday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba described the situation after the Madrid attack as “even more bizarre” and “even disgusting.”
After Wednesday, he said, packages began arriving at various diplomatic missions in Ukraine, soaked in a liquid with a distinctive smell and containing the eyes of animals.
“In one case, it was probably a cow’s eye, and in the other case, it was probably a pig’s eye,” Kuleba said.
Asked who he thought was behind the packages, Kouleba said he was “very tempted to name Russia” because it was spreading fear among Ukrainian diplomats. But he added that it could also be someone sympathetic to Russia, so he would await the outcome of the ongoing investigation.
The Russian embassy in Madrid said on Twitter on Thursday that any terrorist attack on a diplomatic mission was “totally reprehensible”.
On Friday afternoon, the Ukrainian foreign ministry said the packages had been delivered to Ukrainian embassies in Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Croatia and Italy, as well as the consulates general in Naples and Krakow, as well as the consulate in Brno, Czech Republic.
It later announced that a similar package had also been sent to the Madrid embassy and that investigators were on the scene. Nikolenko posted a photo of the embassy garden in Madrid, where a Spanish policeman can be seen patrolling with a dog.
In addition to packages, the residence of Ukraine’s ambassador to the Vatican was also covered in what Ukraine suspects could be animal feces. Andriy Yurash, Ukraine’s ambassador to the Vatican, said: “The doors, the stairs and the walls of the entrance to the apartments are covered with foul-smelling dirt.”
“It is difficult to fully explain the why and why of this dire message, but it is certainly a systemic trend, a systematic attack on Ukraine’s missions across Europe,” he said.
A hoax bomb threat was received about the Ukrainian embassy in Kazakhstan. Ukraine called on its embassy to increase security and asked the host country for help.