The formal part of the negotiations in Astana was postponed from yesterday to today, although there were informal talks on the 15th. It's 4:00 PM in Astana so it could be a few more hours before we hear anything about the talks -- which, as with all negotiations the Syrian-Russian governments conduct with the opposition groups, is an attempt to peel away Syrian fighters from groups that are sponsored by foreign regimes or wealthy Syrian expats who have long opposed the present Syrian government.
While Staffan de Mistura is not in attendance at the Astana talks, he sent five reps from the UN to observe and report back, in preparation for the UN-led negotiations in Geneva. These are scheduled to start formally on February 23.
In the weeks running up to the planned Geneva talks all hell broke loose, as NATO/Arab Gulf- controlled media outlets and ngos hurled at the public every bit of dirt they could find or make up about the Syrian-Russian government prosecution of the Syrian War.
It's happened before, but this time opponents of a Syrian government-brokered peace have pulled out all the stops. I'm wondering whether there's a new reason for this.
Wait, I think I have gotten an answer from breaking news at Sputnik; I just went there to look for any early statements about the Astana talks:
Clashes Between Syrian Gov't and Moderate Opposition Forces Ended - Shoigu