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U.N. envoy forced out of Crimea by hostile pro-Russian crowd

(Reuters) - A U.N. special envoy was forced to abandon a mission to Ukraine's Russian-occupied Crimea region on Wednesday after being stopped by armed men and besieged inside a cafe by a hostile crowd shouting "Russia! Russia!"

A reporter for Britain's ITN television, James Mates, said the envoy, Dutch diplomat Robert Serry, had taken shelter in the cafe to escape the armed men who stopped him. He agreed to leave Crimea to end the stand-off.

A Reuters photographer saw him being escorted by police through a crowd of about 100 angry demonstrators, some waving Russian flags, near the headquarters of a foreign observer mission.

Crimea is under control of Russian forces who seized it last week, although Moscow says "self defense" units of men in uniform without insignia are not under its command.

"UN special envoy Robert Serry with me in coffee shop. Outside local militia block the door," Mates tweeted.

"He refused to go with men blocking car, got out and walked until he found coffee shop. He's asked ITV News team to stay with him," Mates said.

Later Mates added that Serry had said he was very happy to leave Crimea "if it helped de-escalate the situation".

(Reporting by Vasily Fedosenko and Peter Graff, Writing by Peter Graff, Editing by Timothy)

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sirhalllaw March 05 2014 at 4:26 PM

Well, what do you expect? Crimea is in Russia's sphere of influence and controls land access to the Black Sea Fleet. We should not make threats we don't/should'nt intend to back up. We will eventually come to a conflict with Mr. Putin, a former Lt. Col. KGB man who's claim to fame is applying cattle prods to a man's genitals. Doubt me? Look at his animated facial reactions with lifeless eyes, reflecting the sale of his soul to Beezlebub decades ago. As history has taught us, a superior governmental system, such as the U.S., always and ultimately prevails over a repressive regime like Russia's so we need not worry. Larry

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1 reply
Nelson sirhalllaw March 05 2014 at 4:35 PM

We have to continue to keep the attention on Putin or his military might just make the wrong call.. And them Nostradamos dream will come to lite...

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paddleman1928 March 05 2014 at 5:46 PM

considering that the great majority of the crimea are Russian this should not be a surprise. Stop stirring up trouble where there is none

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1 reply
rgkarasiewicz paddleman1928 March 05 2014 at 5:54 PM

Everything was peaceful over there until America and its cohorts instigated violence and unrest.

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2 replies
keithj77441 rgkarasiewicz March 05 2014 at 6:05 PM

ummmmmmmmmm. Ukraine is an independent country that wants freedom and change. They protested and got nowhere with the Russia puppet. Try and keep up

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Dianne rgkarasiewicz March 06 2014 at 6:20 AM

Is that you, Putin?

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conselr1 March 05 2014 at 5:35 PM

Russia is doing such crazy things. Putin is nuts. How do we know those people were even from Crimea. They could very well be Russian plants. Nothing is making sense. I wonder how much Russia is paying the "green uniform" men that are trying to take over the bases. I don't believe for a minute that the "green uniform" men are Crimeans.

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Paul March 05 2014 at 2:58 PM

I tried breathing behind one of those pull over masks a couple times, no, but seriously, it's tough and you can't see your buddy right beside you, you have to walk 10 feet away to keep from bumping into him. What a bunch of profs.

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coljr March 05 2014 at 3:03 PM

poor poor barry ZERO, just can't seem to learn from history. We should just call him barry chamberlain?

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harrinat March 05 2014 at 5:31 PM

do we really need another cold war (not to mention a hot onr.)

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sammy_evans4 March 05 2014 at 5:19 PM

Sorry but that's what you get for going somewhere you are not wanted. We just need to stay the hell away from over there, It's a crying shame when we have children going to be at night hungry, yet we give these people one Billion Dollars in aid, WHY, When said and done their will be a few more Millionaires over there because that's where the money will go right into a few peoples hands. We are so frigging stupid.

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neutralslamm March 05 2014 at 3:05 PM

Sounds like a proper greeting for the UN, hopefully the US will respond in the same way when our turn comes.

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1 reply
jcnash5 neutralslamm March 05 2014 at 3:18 PM

our politicians may not but I am quite sure "We the People" will.

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Kat4Hat March 05 2014 at 4:18 PM

I like this comment from another site "In the late18th Century, Kiev was saved by a brilliant Czarist General Alexander Suvorov and Czarina Catherine the Great. Without Czarist help Ukrainians today would be speaking Turkish and going to mosks every Friday."

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1 reply
Brian Hope Kat4Hat March 05 2014 at 4:22 PM

That was then; today's pro-Slavic "Anschluss" is now.

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silverdragon8448 March 05 2014 at 5:08 PM

Now the US will spend more money to get their own crowds there.

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