Raids in the eastern neighbourhoods of Aleppo have stopped since the Russian announcement, but air strikes are still being conducted in the broader Aleppo region, Britain-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said yesterday.
On Monday, Moscow announced a "humanitarian pause" between 8am and 4pm tomorrow to allow civilians and militants safe passage out of the city. After a closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council, Russia's Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin has said Moscow has announced an 8 hour ceasefire on Thursday, but a longer humanitarian pause will require some mutual agreements. Her comments came a day after Kerry warned of possible sanctions related to the situation in Syria and harshly criticized Russia's military actions there.
The United Nations and the European Union welcomed Tuesday's announcement by Russian Federation, but said the planned pause in fighting - set to take place on Thursday - needed to be longer to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Russian president Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the halt in the airstrikes was a goodwill gesture to pave the way for Thursday's pause.
He said: "The Russian military is offering yet another chance, and we hope that our partners will allow us all to take advantage of that".
Russian Federation had said Monday there would be an eight-hour "humanitarian pause" in the battered city on Thursday, a move welcomed by the United Nations and the European Union which nevertheless said the ceasefire needed to be longer to allow the delivery of aid.
Spokesman Jens Laerke of United Nations humanitarian coordinator OCHA said in Geneva the agency needs assurances from all sides that fighting will stop before it can provide humanitarian assistance to the city.
Mrs Merkel said she and French president François Hollande will discuss Syria with Mr Putin on the sidelines of a planned meeting on Ukraine in Berlin today, but cautioned against expecting "miracles". Estimates of the number of al-Nusrra fighters in the city vary between 400 and 900.
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He shut the door "and within seconds, he was pushing me against the wall, and forcing his tongue down my throat". After she introduced herself, he " kissed me directly on the mouth", she told the Times .
Shoigu urged the countries wielding influence with the rebels in Aleppo to persuade them to leave the city.
Russian air support for the onslaught - which has destroyed hospitals and other civilian infrastructure - has spurred the accusations of potential war crimes. However, Syrian opposition groups said on Tuesday they rejected any withdrawal of fighters from Aleppo.
Both leaders have been sharply critical of Russia's support for the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
"There are no terrorists in Aleppo", he said, speaking from Aleppo.
Syrian troops would be pulled back to allow the militants to leave unhindered, he promised. But she added: "I refuse to live in fear".
The United Nations said Russian Federation has communicated plans for two eight-hour ceasefires in rebel-held parts of Aleppo over "consecutive days" this week. He added that the ratio can be as high as 10 to 1 or even 12 to 1, if the UK's Foreign Office has provided accurate estimates, claiming that there are somewhere between 10,000 and 12,000 "moderate" rebels in Aleppo.
Churkin said that Russian Federation and Syria have halted air strikes on eastern Aleppo in preparation for an eight-hour humanitarian pause on Thursday.