Bloody parcels containing the eyes of animals and explosives have been sent to several Ukrainian embassies and consuls across Europe, officials said late Friday.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said in a statement on Facebook that embassies in Spain, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Croatia and Italy had received packages containing the disembodied eyes of animals. Consulates in Naples, Italy, Krakow, Poland, and the Czech city of Brno had also been targeted, he said.
The “bloody parcels” arrived soaked in a colored liquid, and all possess a distinctive 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 stepped up security and are working with national law enforcement agencies of foreign countries.
“Despite the perverted threats, we continue to strongly 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, Spain’s 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 mailed to six addresses in Spain earlier this week, including the Ukrainian Embassy and the U.S. Embassy, as well as to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, causing security to be tightened.
Elsewhere, the home of the Ukrainian ambassador to the Vatican was vandalized. Andrii Yurash, told the AP that the entrance to his residence had been targeted with what he believed to be animal feces. The door to the apartment and the stairs and walls in the entryway were “smeared with a dirty substance with an unpleasant smell,” he said.
Farther south, the Ukrainian consul in Naples, Maksym Kovalenko, told the AP that his office received two letters containing fish eyes at around 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
Inside Ukraine, satellite imagery of Mariupol taken last month by Maxar Technologies shows the “extensive damage that was caused by weeks of airstrikes and artillery bombardments,” in the southern city, the Colorado-based company said on its website Saturday.
It said that the main city cemetery “on the western side of the city has had a significant expansion of the number of graves.”
“Across the city, dozens of high-rise apartment buildings that had been destroyed or heavily damaged during March are now being demolished, and large stockpiles of construction supplies are seen near several of the shopping centers in western Mariupol and elsewhere,” it said. “Thousands of homes, apartments. buildings and infrastructure remain in disrepair throughout much of the area.”
It added that “a new Russian military compound” had been built in the city.
The images were released after he Kremlin said 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 precluded any talks from happening.
The Ukrainian army liberated Kherson earlier in November, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said the return of all Russian-occupied land is a precondition for any negotiations with Moscow.
Associated Press and Reuters contributed.