Russian diplomats evacuate Canberra embassy after suspicious package sent

Russian diplomats have been evacuated from the embassy in Canberra with police and investigators in HAZMAT suits in attendance.

Russian diplomats have been evacuated from the embassy in Canberra with police and investigators in HAZMAT suits in attendance after a suspicious package was detected.

The package, believed to be white powder, prompted the evacuation this morning with multiple emergency service vehicles in attendance.

It follows the arrival of a suspicious package at the Russian Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand, on Monday.

An envelope containing white powder was received, along with a threatening note.

The Russian embassy in Canberra is located at Canberra avenue in Griffith and is a busy road leading to the Manuka district close to Parliament House.

The road was blocked this morning as police conducted their investigations.

The Russian embassy stands opposite to the Kingston Hotel, known as The Kingo, which was the site of many meetings between Vladimir Petrov and ASIO agents in the 1950s.

In April 1954 Vladimir and Evdokia Petrov, two Soviet spies who traveled to Australia as diplomats defected in a move that made international news.

After Mr Petrov defected without telling his wife, the Soviet Embassy accused the Australian Government of kidnapping Vladimir and placed Evdokia under house arrest in the Soviet Embassy in Canberra.

In 1971, the Soviet Embassy in Canberra was bombed.

The police said that two men in a car nearby were arrested after the explosion, which shattered all the embassy’s front glass windows and heavily damaged the door. None were injured.

More to come.

Originally published as Russian diplomats evacuate Canberra embassy after suspicious package sent

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