Bloody packages containing animal eyes and explosives have been sent to several Ukrainian embassies and consuls across Europe, officials said on Friday.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said in a Facebook statement that the embassies of Spain, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Croatia and Italy had received packages containing disembodied eyes of animals. Consulates in Naples, Italy, Krakow, Poland and the Czech city of Brno were also targeted, he said.
The “bloody packages” arrived soaked in colored liquid, and all possess a peculiar smell, according to Nikolenko, who added that Ukraine was “studying the meaning of this message”.
In a separate statement on his Facebook page, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Ukraine had “already strengthened security and was working with domestic law enforcement agencies of foreign countries.”
“Despite the perverse threats, we continue to firmly defend Ukraine on the diplomatic front,” he added.
After the Ukrainian Embassy in Madrid became the latest to receive a package containing animal eyes on Friday, the Spanish Interior Ministry told The Associated Press that the building had been evacuated, adding that the package had been sent from outside the country.
Letter bombs were sent to six addresses in Spain earlier this week, including the Ukrainian Embassy and the United States Embassy, as well as to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, prompting heightened security.
Elsewhere, the home of the Ukrainian ambassador to the Vatican was vandalized. Andrii Yurash, told the AP that the entrance to his residence was targeted with what he believed to be animal feces. The door to the apartment as well as the stairs and walls in the entrance were “smeared with a filthy substance with an unpleasant smell”, he said.
Further south, the Ukrainian consul in Naples, Maksym Kovalenko, told the AP that his office received two letters containing fish eyes around 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
Inside Ukraine, satellite images of Mariupol taken last month by Maxar Technologies show “the extensive damage caused by weeks of airstrikes and artillery shelling” in the southern city, the city said on Saturday. Colorado-based company on its website.
He said the city’s main cemetery “on the west side of the city has seen a significant increase in the number of graves”.
“Across the city, dozens of high-rise apartment buildings that were destroyed or badly damaged in March are being demolished, and large stockpiles of building materials are visible near several shopping malls in western Mariupol and elsewhere,” he said. “Thousands of houses, apartments. buildings and infrastructure remain in poor condition in much of the region.
He added that “a new Russian military complex” had been built in the city.
The footage was released after the Kremlin said on Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin was open to a possible settlement on Ukraine and was open to a diplomatic solution.
But a demand that the West recognize territories annexed by Russia in September, including Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, as part of Russian territory has prevented any discussion.
The Ukrainian army liberated Kherson earlier in November and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the return of all Russian-occupied land was a precondition for any negotiations with Moscow.
Associated press and Reuters contributed.