Syria's regime and opposition have reached a breakthrough at the start of peace talks held in Geneva

Syria peace talks reach breakthrough

Syria's regime and opposition have agreed that women and children can leave the besieged city of Homs, but relations remain fragile.

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UN diplomat 'refused to leave with men blocking car'

UN representative Robert Serry says he refused to leave with men blocking his car in Ukraine's Crimea region, ITV News' Europe Editor James Mates reports.


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

Read: UN say representative was threatened but not kidnapped

UN special representative was prevented from leaving

Europe Editor James Mates says the UN special representative was held in a coffee shop in Crimea:


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: Representative was threatened but not kidnapped

Deputy UN Secretary General Jan Eliasson has denied reports that diplomat Robert Serry was kidnapped, but claimed he was threatened in Ukraine's Crimea region.

The Ukrainian foreign ministry had earlier claimed that Serry was seized by armed men in Simferopol, Crimea.

Read: UN chief's special representative 'seized in Crimea'

UN chief's special representative 'stopped in Crimea'

UN Secretary General's special representative has reportedly been stopped by armed men in Crimea, Interfax news agency reports citing the Ukrainian foreign ministry.

But it is not clear if he has just been temporarily stopped.

The foreign ministry says Robert Serry was in the region's main city, Simferopol, at the time.

Ukraine: 16,000 Russian troops deployed in Crimea

Ukraine's ambassador to UN has told the emergency meeting of the Security Council Russia has deployed around 16,000 troops from Russian territory to Crimea since February 24.

Beginning from 24 February, approximately 16,000 Russian troops have been deployed in Crimea by the military ships, helicopters, cargo airplanes from the neighboring territory of the Russian Federation.

– Yuriy Sergeyev, Ukraine's UN ambassador

Yanukovich 'asks Russia to use forces to establish peace'

Ukraine's ousted leader Viktor Yanukovich has sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin requesting that he use the Russian military to restore law and order in Ukraine, Moscow's U.N. envoy said.

Under the influence of Western countries, there are open acts of terror and violence. People are being persecuted for language and political reasons. So in this regard I would call on the President of Russia, Mr Putin, asking him to use the armed forces of the Russian Federation to establish legitimacy, peace, law and order, stability and defending the people of Ukraine.

– Letter from Yanukovich to Putin, as quoted by Russian UN envoy

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin quoted the letter in an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

During his speech, Churkin held up a copy of the letter for council members to see.

Read: Obama says Russia has violated international law in Ukraine


Hague: End 'barbaric' use of barrel bombs in Syria

The "barbaric" use of barrel bombs in Syria must end, William Hague has said after the UN Security Council backed a resolution calling for humanitarian access to Syria to help relieve the plight of civilians caught up in the crisis.

The resolution demands an end to indiscriminate aerial bombardment and the immediate lifting of sieges by both forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and the opposition.

This is a vital step towards ensuring that humanitarian aid reaches millions of Syrians in desperate need of help, including those who have been denied their basic human right to food and medical aid.

The adoption of this resolution, on the initiative of the UK and our close partners, sends a clear message that the Assad regime cannot be allowed to starve hundreds of thousands of its own people into submission.

We will not hesitate to return to the Security Council if the Assad regime fails to meet the demands in this resolution.

– Foreign Secretary William Hague
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