Envoy forced to end Crimea trip after being trapped by militia

ITV News' James Mates was with the United Nations special envoy Robert Serry as he agreed to end his mission to Crimea after he refused to go with a group of men who blocked his car and then local militia refused to let him leave a coffee shop.

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'Incident example of how serious situation has become'

United Nations special envoy John Serry has exclusively told ITV News that his ordeal is an example of how serious the situation has become in Ukraine's Crimea region.

Mr Serry was forced to take refuge in a coffee shop with journalists from ITV News after being confronted by armed men.

"I think this incident is just an example of how serious the situation has become and my hope is that everybody will realise that this situation is very urgent now and we must find a way to de-escalate the situation here," Mr Serry said inside the business lounge at Simeferopol airport.

"That is the lesson of what happened to me."


Serry: Urgent Crimea situation must be de-escalated

John Serry says something needs to be done to "de-escalate" the "very urgent" situation in Crimea, after he was forced to leave the region following his confrontation with unidentified armed men and angry pro-Russia protesters.

Mr Serry added that he hoped all citizens in Crimea can "start to feel safe again".

Serry: Crimea departure shows seriousness of situation

UN special representative Robert Serry has said his forced departure from Crimea reflects the seriousness of the situation in the region as he spoke to ITV News' Europe Editor James Mates.


Aide asks ITV News not to leave Crimea coffee shop

An aide to UN special envoy Robert Serry asked journalists from ITV News not to leave the coffee shop in Crimea where the diplomat was being held by unidentified local militia.

"No, no don't leave. Please," the woman is heard saying as Mr Serry discusses the situation on the phone.

ITV News were the only TV journalists with the UN envoy as he was trapped in a cafe.

UN envoy 'will shortly return to Kiev'

Robert Serry with James Mates in a cafe in Crimea as militia outside refuse to let them leave Credit: ITV News/James Mates

A United Nations spokesperson has said Robert Serry is "taking a late flight out of Simferopol and will shortly return to Kiev to continue his mission" after his confrontation with militia In Crimea today.

ITV News were the only TV journalists with the UN envoy as he was trapped in a cafe.

Read James Mates' account

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