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Putin urges Ukraine military to overthrow 'neo-Nazi' leaders and negotiate with Russia
25 February 2022, 17:26
Vladimir Putin has made an appeal to Ukrainian troops asking them to negotiate with Russia after branding the Ukrainian government a "gang of Nazis that has captured Kyiv".
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The Russian President made a direct address to Ukrainian troops on Friday afternoon, saying "it will be easier for us to agree if you take power in your own hands".
During a televised meeting with Russia's security council, Putin said: "I once again appeal to the military personnel of the armed forces of Ukraine: do not allow neo-Nazis and (Ukrainian radical nationalists) to use your children, wives and elders as human shields.
"Take power into your own hands, it will be easier for us to reach agreement."
After making his appeal to soldiers fighting against his troops he went on to commend the Russian armed forces, calling them "honourable and heroic".
He continued: "Also I would like to commend the efficiency of Russian armed forces they have been acting honourable, heroically and they are effective and efficient at protecting the Russian people and their homeland."
He told them "it will be easier for us to agree if you take power in your own hands".
According to the Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar, around 2,800 Russian troops have been killed since the invasion began yesterday. These figures have not been confirmed.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed his military will keep fighting back and he ordered a full mobilisation, stopping all men of fighting age from leaving the country.
Yesterday he said 137 people - servicemen and civilians - have been killed and hundreds more wounded since the invasion began. This number has increased today.
Russian forces have today moved to the outskirts of Ukraine's capital Kyiv as US officials warned that President Vladimir Putin may be intent on installing a new government.
Kyiv mayor Vitaly Klitschko had called on the city's three million people to stay indoors unless they worked in critical sectors and said everyone should prepare go-bags with necessities such as medicine and documents.
On Friday Mr Klitschko said at least three people were injured when a rocket hit a multi-storey apartment building, whilst attacks were also carried out on orphanages and kindergartens.
Mr Zelensky said he has information that he is the number one target for the invading Russians but said he planned to remain in Kyiv.
The Russian military later said it had seized control of a strategic airport just outside Kyiv and cut the city off from the west.
The Ukrainian military said a group of Russian spies and saboteurs had been seen in a district on the outskirts of Kyiv, and police told people not to exit a subway station in the city centre because there was gunfire in the area.