President Vladimir Putin has ordered daily "humanitarian pauses" in Syria's besieged eastern Ghouta, according to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
The cease-fire will be arranged for the rebel-held Damascus suburb between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. every day starting Tuesday, Shoigu said Monday. He added that Russia will help set an evacuation route for civilians in the area.
But civilians caught in the violence mocked Russian President Vladimir Putin's order of a limited, five-hour daily truce.
"It is like legitimizing the strikes on civilians," said activist Firas Abdullah, a resident of Douma, a town in the region where at least 13 members of a family were killed Monday when their home collapsed after an airstrike.
"They will be so kind to grant us a mere five hours when they will not bomb us. Then the rest of the day, they will bomb us as usual. It is like a permission to kill," Abdullah said.
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The bombardment of eastern Ghouta over the past week has been one of the heaviest of Syria's seven-year war, killing at least 556 people in eight days, according to a toll compiled by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based war monitor.
The political leader of the Army of Islam, the strongest rebel group in eastern Ghouta, called the Russian order "regrettable," saying Moscow sought to circumvent the Security Council's unanimously approved resolution.
"This (Russian) decision nullifies the legitimacy of the United Nations," Mohammed Alloush of the Army of Islam told The Associated Press. "We want a total and lasting cease-fire in accordance with the U.N. resolution and one that opens corridors for humanitarian aid."