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Armed Men Force UN Envoy To End Crimea Mission: Reports

Robert Serry, a United Nations envoy, was reportedly held hostage by more than a dozen gunmen in Crimea before being forced out of the country.

Armed Men Force UN Envoy To End Crimea Mission: Reports
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Tensions continue to rise in Ukraine. Robert Serry, a United Nations special envoy, was reportedly held hostage by more than a dozen gunmen in Crimea before being forced out of the country. 

Serry was in Crimea representing the U.N. deputy secretary general. He says he was trying to leave Crimea when his car was blocked by armed men who ordered him to go straight to the airport.

"Somebody who did not identify himself was telling me he had orders to bring me to the airport. I refused. ... I managed to get out of the car, so I walked and found this cafe, and since then, I'm here." (Via ITV)

And according to reports, that's where he stayed for some time. ITV news reporter James Mates was stuck in the cafe with him and tweeted a photo of what looks to be a guard blocking the door of the cafe. In another tweet, Mates said the men wore pro-Russia black and gold armbands. (Via Twitter / @jamesmatesitv)

Russian news agency Interfax reported earlier that Serry had been captured and taken hostage by the armed men, but that theory was debunked by the ITV news reporter who was live tweeting the incident. 

This comes as Russian and Ukrainian officials spar over whether Russian troops are actually in control of Crimea. Russian officials have described the men as local self-defense forces, not Russian. (Via CNN)

As it stands, Serry is set to take a flight out of Simferopol but will return to Kiev to continue talks in the region.