Breaking: UN Envoy Robert Serry Held Captive By Unknown Gunmen in Crimea – Agrees to Leave Region
Putin Titushkas blocking access to Belbek airbase in Crimea today. (Bruce Sringnote)
UN envoy Robert Serry was held captive today in Crimea by armed men.
A “local militia” held him captive in a coffee shop.
— ITV News (@itvnews) March 5, 2014
Russia’s Interfax reported:
The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine reported that a special envoy of UN Secretary General Robert Serry, who came on a mission to Crimea, captured by unknown gunmen.
“R.Serri just informed that his car in Simferopol blocked by unidentified armed men in uniform and told the team that they take him to the airport. He refused to go, and now he was captured and held hostage actually unknown,” – said the agency ” Interfax-Ukraine “Director of Information Policy Department Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Yevhen Perebiynis.
RTE News has more:
Deputy UN Secretary General Jan Eliasson said that Mr Serry was threatened.
ITV Europe Editor James Mates tweeted that he was in a coffee shop with Mr Serry and that local militia blocked the door.
Mr Mates reported that Mr Serry has agreed to end his mission in Crimea and is due to travel to the airport.
He said people were outside the coffee shop chanting “Russia, Russia” and “Putin, Putin”.
The development comes as Ukrainian troops remain blocked inside their barracks in Crimea in the gravest stand-off between the West and Russia since the end of the Cold War.