BEIRUT: Russia has announced a daily three-hour ceasefire in Aleppo to allow aid to enter the Syrian city, following intense international pressure over a humanitarian crisis.
The city's two million residents have been without running water for more than two weeks; those living in the rebel-held east have suffered severe food shortages for much longer.
General Sergei Rudskoi, from the Russian general staff, said that humanitarian corridors would be opened for the delivery of aid and a ceasefire called from 10am until 1pm, starting today (Thursday).
People in Aleppo told The Daily Telegraph how there has been nothing to eat but rice and lentils and even those supplies are running low.
"At all times I will look at any kind of suggestion which enables humanitarian aid to be delivered," said Stephen O'Brien, the UN aid coordinator, in response to the Russian announcement.
But Mr O'Brien added that three hours each day was not enough time to reach all those in need. He called for regular 48-hour ceasefires.
Fighting in Syria's second city has intensified after regime forces cut off the only road into the rebel-held east, trapping 300,000 people.
But, over the weekend, an alliance of 10,000 opposition fighters managed to break the siege after capturing territory in the south of Aleppo.
At the same time, they cut the main supply route to government-held western Aleppo, raising the prospect of insurgents besieging those areas.
Both sides have thrown everything they have into what has been called "the Great Battle for Aleppo", a city so important to the opposing forces that it is referred to as Syria's Stalingrad.