Ukraine’s foreign minister told CNN in an exclusive interview that a series of letters containing explosives or animal parts are meant to terrorize Ukrainian diplomats around the world.
“This campaign is aimed at sowing fear and terrorizing Ukrainian diplomats,” Dmytro Kuleba told CNN’s Matthew Chance in Kyiv Friday.
Kuleba said that there had been 17 cases of embassies receiving either letter bombs, false bomb letters, or letters containing animals parts, like the eyes of cows and pigs.
CNN has been shown an image of one of the letters containing what officials said was the eyeball of a pig inside a padded envelope.
“It started with an explosion at the embassy of Ukraine in Spain,” he said. “But what followed this explosion was more weird, and I would even say sick.”
Asked who he thought was behind the letters, he said, “I feel tempted to say, to name Russia straight away, because first of all you have to answer the question, who benefits?”
“Maybe this terror response is the Russian answer to the diplomatic horror that we created for Russia on the international arena, and this is how they try to fight back while they are losing the real diplomatic battles one after another,” he said.
Investigators have not made any statement about any person or group behind the letters.
Kuleba added that he thought that Russia was either directly responsible, or someone “who sympathizes [with] the Russian cause and tries to spread fear.”
“The conclusion will be made by investigators, but I think these two versions make most of the sense,” he said.
A Ukrainian embassy staff member in Madrid was slightly injured Wednesday after handling an envelope that exploded in his hands, according to the Kubela’s spokesperson, Oleg Nikolenko.
Ukraine has put all embassies and consulates abroad under enhanced security measures. This week, Ukrainian embassies in Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Croatia, Italy, Austria, the consulates general in Naples and Krakow, and the consulate in Brno have received bloody packages containing animal eyes, Nikolenko said on Facebook.