Putin calls on Ukrainian military to seize power to better negotiate with Russia

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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference following talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Moscow, Russia February 1, 2022. Yuri Kochetkov/Pool via REUTERS

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MOSCOW, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the Ukrainian military to seize power in their country on Friday, a day after Moscow launched an invasion of its southern neighbour.

"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," Putin said at a televised meeting with Russia's security council.

"Take power into your own hands, it will be easier for us to reach agreement."

Putin added that Russian servicemen in Ukraine were acting "bravely, professionally and heroically."

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Reporting by Anton Zverev, Dmitry Antonov and Oksana Kobzeva; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Mark Trevelyan

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