Russia to extend Aleppo ceasefire to 11 hours

Russia to extend Aleppo ceasefire to 11 hours

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that the ceasefire for the city of Aleppo would be extended from eight to 11 hours. According to General Sergey Rudskoi of the Russian General Staff, this was a response to “numerous requests” from aid organizations for more time. When Moscow first announced the cessation of fighting on Monday, the UN was among the organizations to complain that eight hours was too brief a window for relief workers. This extension comes during a meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Berlin – primarily to discuss the situation in Ukraine. This meeting, coupled with other potential signs of movement like the Aleppo ceasefire pledge, stoked some hopes of Russia seeking a more diplomatic approach to the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. Still, expectations remained modest going into the meeting, with Merkel calling the situation in the most populous city in Syria “disastrous.” If upheld as advertised, the ceasefire will take place between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. local time on Thursday. This “will allow representatives of the United Nations and the Syrian Red Crescent to carry out all their operations to ensure the evacuation of the sick and wounded, and also to…

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