The international community is demanding UN access to the site of an alleged chemical attack in Syria.
Moscow has said the ceasefire will enable civilians and rebels to leave the city's besieged eastern areas. The UN hopes to carry out a medical evacuation on Friday but admits "everything can go wrong."
In an interview with Rossiya 24, the Syrian first lady said she stayed in Damascus despite offers to flee. She also criticized western media for focusing more on Syrian refugees and people in rebel-held areas.
A day before a brief ceasefire is scheduled for Aleppo, Chancellor Merkel hosts Russian President Vladimir Putin for talks on Syria and Ukraine. The French and Ukrainian leaders will also be present.
Moscow and Damascus have announced an eight-hour cessation of violence in the besieged city of Aleppo, to take place on Thursday. This coincides with an EU meeting criticizing Russia and Syria's role in Aleppo's clashes.
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