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Special U.N. envoy forced to leave Crimea early by pro-Russian crowd

By Kyle Johnson,

A special peace enjoy for the United Nations had his trip to Crimea cut short after a pro-Russian crowd surrounded him and wouldn't leave him be until he boarded a plane out.

Robert Serry, the U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process was sent to Ukraine to assess the situation, but was given little time in the country and was forced to leave, according to the Kyiv Post.

Initially it was thought Serry has been kidnapped as his car was surrounded by a pro-Russian crowd and he left his car. However, ITN news editor James Mate said Serry ducked into a cafe to try and wait out the crowd, who simply chanted "Putin, Putin" and "Russia, Russia."

After some time in the cafe, Serry announced he would be going to the airport, though he was not allowed to return to his hotel for his luggage.

Reuters reports that the Dutch diplomat's interpreter, Vadim Kastelli, spoke about how the people were in civilian clothing and who showed up after Serry attended a meeting at a Ukrainian military compound.

It isn't known for sure if anyone who forced Serry to take a flight out to Istanbul were armed, though Mates claims he observed at least one person with a weapon.

Kastelli spoke about why the special envoy was out and about without a security detail. "The authorities in Crimea not only knew he was here, but it was a coordinated program. I think that is why he decided to come without security."

 

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