Updated, 3:17 p.m.

Robert Serry, the United Nations special envoy to Ukraine, is leaving Ukraine’s Crimea region after confrontations in Simferopol. The U.N. said he “will shortly return to Kiev.”

James Mates, the Europe editor for ITV, was with Serry when the confrontations occurred and reports on Twitter that Serry was on his way to Istanbul.

Serry, the Netherlands’ first ambassador to Ukraine, was threatened by armed men at a cafe and told to leave the region on Wednesday.

Here’s the view from Mates:










Earlier, U.N. Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson told reporters by telephone from Kiev. Eliasson said the group of 10 to 15 men blocked the Dutch diplomat’s car and ordered him to go to the airport and leave Crimea immediately.

“He refused,” Eliasson said, and left the vehicle on foot to walk back to his hotel. Eliasson called the incident “very regrettable” but said Serry is “in good shape physically” and was “not kidnapped.” He said Serry’s fact-finding mission in Crimea is now being reassessed and that a decision will be made on whether to withdraw him to Kiev.

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