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

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

3 PHOTOS
Robert Serry
See Gallery
U.N. envoy forced out of Crimea by hostile pro-Russian crowd
UN special envoy Robert Serry with me in coffee shop. Outside local militia block the door. #Ukraine http://t.co/pbotNqCG3i
SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 05: Pro-Russian militants stand outside the Ukrainian naval headquarters following an incident in which UN envoy Robert Serry was accosted by militants on March 5, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Serry managed to leave the building unharmed but has reportedly cut short his mission to Crimea. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE


(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)

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners

Man's Wife Leaves Him And Their Kids After A Fight - Two Days Later He Posts This Man's Wife Leaves Him And Their Kids After A Fight - Two Days Later He Posts This
15 Recall the Kindest Thing a Stranger Ever Did for Them 15 Recall the Kindest Thing a Stranger Ever Did for Them
Man Finds 5 Abandoned 'Puppies' In His Garden - Then Quickly Realizes He Made A Big Man Finds 5 Abandoned 'Puppies' In His Garden - Then Quickly Realizes He Made A Big