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Bloody packages, animal eyes sent to Ukrainian embassies, Ukraine says

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks during a virtual address to U.S. members of Congress, March 16, 2022. (Video screenshot)
December 06, 2022

Bloody packages containing animal eyes were recently sent to Ukrainian diplomats across Europe in what Ukraine is calling a “well-planned campaign of terror and intimidation.”

The entrance to the home of the country’s Vatican ambassador was also vandalized, and its embassy in Kazakhstan received a bomb threat, the Ukraine Foreign Ministry announced. Those events follow a letter bomb that injured a security guard at the Ukrainian embassy in Spain.

More “bloody packages” were received Tuesday at Ukrainian embassies in Romania and Denmark, Reuters reported.

Investigations are ongoing, but Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has already pointed a finger at Russia, whose invasion of Ukraine is nearing its tenth month.

“I feel tempted to say, to name Russia straight away, because first of all you have to answer the question, who benefits?” he told CNN. A Russian spokesperson’s one-word response to CNN was: “psycho.”

The packages with animal eyes were sent to Ukrainian embassies in Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Croatia, Italy and Austria. They were also sent to consulates, or smaller embassies, in Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic.

“The packages themselves were soaked in a liquid of a characteristic color and had a corresponding smell,” a Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman said. “We are studying the meaning of this message.”

An image of one of the packages showed what officials said was a pig’s eyeball inside a padded envelope, CNN reported.

In its announcement, Ukraine called on other governments to afford its diplomatic missions “the highest level of protection.” Kuleba ordered all diplomatic missions to tighten their security.

The attacks come as Europeans face increasing impacts to their daily lives from Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. As winter settles in, Europe’s previous reliance on Russian energy poses a looming threat of power rationing and blackouts.

The so-called terror campaign also comes after Russia’s retreat from the recently-annexed Ukrainian city of Kherson and as momentum seems to shift toward the defenders.

From the beginning of the war, Ukraine has been noted for the savvy, public-facing messaging of its diplomats and TV-star president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, which is effective at generating international support for their war effort. Terrorizing Ukrainian diplomats could be a way to undermine all that.

But if that’s the intended effect, the so-called terror campaign will be unsuccessful, the foreign minister said.

“Unable to stop Ukraine on the diplomatic front, someone is trying to intimidate us,” Kuleba said. “However, I can immediately say that these attempts are useless. We will continue to work effectively for the victory of Ukraine.”