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Putin urges Ukraine military to take over power and hold talks directly with Russia to end conflict

President Vladimir Putin called on the Ukrainian military to seize power in their country in order to reach an easier agreement with Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday called on the Ukrainian military to seize power in their country in order to reach an easier agreement with Russia.

"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’s offer comes as Russian forces close in on Ukraine capital of Kyiv and the political leadership in Ukraine want the civilians to take up arms and fight.

Earlier on Friday, both Moscow and Kyiv expressed some readiness to engage in peace talks. However, fighting in Ukraine has continued despite these statements.

The Kremlin says it suggested the Belarusian capital of Minsk as the site for talks, but Ukraine declined and said it should be Poland’s Warsaw. However, Moscow claims that Kiev then cut communications altogether, while ordering military units to take positions in densely populated areas of the Ukrainian capital, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. (RT report)

As pressure to capture Kyiv heightens, the Ukrainian government has armed civilians with 18,000 machine guns and tasked them to defend the capital city, according to a BBC report.

Authorities have called on the population to resist the Russian troops by all means.

Since midnight on Thursday, all men between 18 and 60, are being told they should stay and fight. Those on the road say they were running for their lives, BBC said.

The Interior Ministry adviser, Vadym Denysenko, stated that 18,000 machine guns “have been handed out in Kyiv to all volunteers, all those who want to defend our capital with weapons in their arms.” The Ukrainian Interior Ministry had earlier posted a leaflet containing step-by-step instructions of how to make petrol bombs on its social media.

Also, the BBC reported that the Ministry of Defence and the Interior Ministry had sent an appeal to residents of Kyiv to inform the authorities of the movements of Russian troops.