A United Nations special representative has reportedly aborted his mission in Ukraine after his envoy was confronted by a group of unidentified men Wednesday.
ITV News correspondent James Mates, who said he was with special representative Robert Serry, said the U.N. representative refused to go with the men — some of whom were armed — when they blocked his vehicle in Crimea.
Serry, instead, walked to a coffee shop where he was prevented from leaving by unidentified men outside, Mates reported on Twitter.
The U.N. representative then finally agreed to cancel his mission and head to the airport, according to Mates. Serry was reportedly greeted with chants of “Russia, Russia!” as he fled to the airport.
Read Mates’ tweets documenting the incident:
With Robert Serry now. not kidnapped, but held in a coffee shop. Some men outside prevent him from leaving.
Special rep is waiting in coffee shop for help. He's asked us to stay with him and keep filming #Ukriane
UN special advisor Robert Serry had been visiting navy commander when his car was blocked. Stand off followed #Ukraine
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. #Ukraine
UN special envoy Robert Serry's assistant says she saw at least one man with a gun among group who blocked his car. #Ukraine
Serry tells Deputy SecGen there was a "mix" of people, some armed, some not armed.
Outside coffee shop are men in combat fatigues blocking the door. Some wear pro Russia black and gold arm band. Not allowing anyone in/out
Robert Serry has now agreed to go straight to the airport and end his mission in #Crimea
Crowd chant Russia Russia as UN envoy leaves coffee shop and scrambles into waiting car#Crimea
Path of envoy's car blocked by protesters chanting Putin Putin. #Crimea
Car moves slowly off to cries of Crimea Russiia #Ukraine
Robert Serry finally on his way to the airport, police having forced a way through an angry crowd. #crimea
Very unpleasant incident over. Robert Serry said v happy to leave #crimea if it helped de escalate the situation.
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