A security officer at Ukraine’s embassy in Madrid was injured Wednesday when a bomb detonated a letter sent to the ambassador, prompting Kyiv to tighten security at all its representative offices abroad.
The letter, which arrived by regular mail and had not been scanned, caused a very small injury to a finger when the officer opened it in the embassy garden, Spanish government official Mercedes Gonzalez told Telemadrid television.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has urgently ordered all of Kyiv’s embassies abroad to strengthen security and urged Spain to investigate the attack, a ministry spokesman said.
He added that the perpetrators will not succeed in threatening Ukrainian diplomats or stopping their daily activities in strengthening Ukraine and countering Russian aggression.
Ukraine’s ambassador to Madrid, Serhii Pohoreltsev, later told TVE that he was working at the embassy without fear.
“The instructions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine state that we must be prepared for any eventuality, such as Russian activity outside the country,” he said.
Russia invaded Ukraine nine months ago in what Kiev and the West described as an unprovoked imperialist land grab, a so-called special operation.
The ambassador declined to elaborate on how the letter was handled, but said the embassy would investigate whether the injured worker followed protocol and improved the system.
Spain’s Supreme Court has opened a case to investigate the attack as a possible act of terrorism, a judicial source said.
Spain’s state-run postal company Correos told Reuters it was cooperating with the investigation.
A residential area surrounding the embassy in northwest Madrid was cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit was deployed to the scene. Reuters footage showed dozens of police officers armed with assault rifles blocking roads in vans around the embassy.
Belén Carreño, Jesus Aguado David Latona Reporting by Emma Pinedo and Inti Landauro; Tom Balmforth in Kyiv; Aislinn Laing, written by Charlie Devereux Frank Jack Daniels Edited by Mark Heinrich and Deepa Babington.
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