Madrid blast caused by envelope bomb addressed to Ukraine’s ambassador

Spanish police have confirmed that an employee at the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid was injured in an explosion that occurred while opening a letter. In response, Kyiv has ramped up security at its embassies abroad. The letter was addressed to Ambassador Serhii Pohoreltsev.

The staff member suffered light injuries and went to the hospital without the assistance of emergency services, the Spanish police said in a statement.

The letter arrived by mail and was not scanned. According to Spanish government official Mercedes Gonzalez, it has resulted in a small wound on the ring finger of the right hand.

The letter was addressed to Ambassador Serhii Pohoreltsev, she added.

Responses to the blast

Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dmytro Kuleba has ordered all Ukrainian embassies abroad to “urgently” strengthen their security, according to a statement from Ukraine’s foreign ministry.

The minister also urged his Spanish counterparts to “take urgent measures to investigate the attack”, the statement said, adding that whoever was behind the attack “will not succeed in intimidating Ukrainian diplomats or stopping their daily work on strengthening Ukraine and countering Russian aggression.”

Detectives are investigating the incident, aided by forensic and intelligence investigators, Spanish police said. Spain’s High Court will lead the investigation.

The residential area surrounding the embassy in northwestern Madrid has been cordoned off and a bomb disposal unit is deployed at the scene, state broadcaster TVE reported.