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Officials seal off offices of Moscow human rights group

Amnesty International has been critical of the Kremlin. Credit: PA

Staff at the Moscow office of human rights group Amnesty International have been barred from entering their offices by officials.

Officials have sealed off the entrances to the offices, the locks have been changed and the power has been cut off, according to staff members.

Alexander Artemyev, an Amnesty International employee who found himself locked out this morning, said no prior warning had been given.

The human rights groups, who have been critical of the Kremlin, have come under increased scrutiny in the past few years, with some staff members designated as "foreign agents"

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Lavrov: 'No Russian airstrikes on Aleppo for 10 days'

There have been no Russian aistrikes on Aleppo for 10 days says Lavrov. Credit: Reuters

There have been no Russian airstrikes on Aleppo for 10 days, according to the country's foreign minister.

Despite the halting of Russian strikes, Sergei Lavrov said there was currently "no alternative" to a political solution in the war torn country and spoke out against sanctions in Syria saying they would "harm civilians".

Mr Lavrov's comments came during talks in Moscow with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Putin: Russia may 'lose patience' and 'respond' in Syria

Vladimir Putin has warned that Russia might "lose patience" in Syria, and said the country had been showing "restraint" in the conflict to date.

Credit: Reuters

Speaking to an audience in southern Russia, the president did not detail what actions he was referring to - but said troops may "respond" at some point.

"We ... don't respond to our partners in such a rude way. But everything has its limits. We may respond," he said.

His comments came after he accused the US-led coalition of violating a ceasefire agreement by bombing Syrian government forces last month.

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Kerry plays down hopes of new Syria ceasefire

Russian Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry meeting earlier this month. Credit: Reuters

US Secretary of State John Kerry has played down expectations of a new ceasefire agreement between Syria and Russia.

His comments come as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Syria's President Bashar al-Assad discussed a "humanitarian pause" in the Syrian city of Aleppo, according to a Kremlin spokesman quoted by Russian news agencies.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Mr Kerry said: "I'm not approaching this with a high sense of expectation and nothing is based on trust."

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