A UN special representative has been forced to leave Ukraine’s Crimea region after being hijacked at gunpoint.
Robert Serry was in Crimea on a fact-finding mission.
His car was blocked by unknown armed men in uniform, as he left the headquarters of the navy in Simferopol.
The men said they had orders to take him to the airport. Serry refused, and walked into to a nearby coffee shop for help, where he called Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister and described what was happening.
He was then blockaded in the coffee shop by the armed men, who were described as wearing pro-Russia black and gold arm bands and shouting “Putin, Putin.”
Eventually Serry was escorted by police through the crowds having agreed to leave the country and go to the airport.
Crimea is under the control of armed forces, who the Ukranian army identify as Russian but who Moscow describes as “self-defence” units of the local administration.