12:00, 10 August
The news that Oleg Melnikov, the head of the Alternative Movement, disappeared in Syria and is uncontactable, has reached and been shared by different media in different ways. Therefore, it is good to clarify the purpose of a trip to a place like Big Idlib. In the Middle East, there are two main types of slavery: sexual and domestic slavery. Regarding this trip, we did not receive any applications to assist those in sexual slavery, but we received about six complaints about domestic slavery.
What are the types of domestic slavery cases Alternativa has received? Citizens of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, or Kazakhstan sometimes marry men from Arab countries. They meet in CIS countries, where the future husband is studying and / or working. They marry, and after the wedding, the couple may have children, and the husband suggests moving back to his homeland. After moving, the women are often trapped. They are forced to do housework, are beaten, and suffer other humiliating treatment. The women cannot leave their families and return home, simply because in this case they will never see their children again.
Sometimes the husbands do not take away the whole family, but take only the children back to their homeland. These cases are both traumatic for the children and for the mothers, because they may not see their children for many years. And this is where Alternativa tries to help.
Many people write that we are helping bring the children of the militants back. That is not true! We deal with ordinary families because it is the official authorities who help the children of militants.
In the Middle East, Alternativa have been working for a month now. Inquiries were made, exact addresses were established, etc. However, as per Oleg's decision, they decided to start on the most difficult case, finishing with easier ones after this.
The group left on 8 August at about 02:00 a.m. Following this, all three scheduled communication sessions were missed by the group: 09:00, 12:00, 15:00.
At the moment, Alternative employees who are in that area are trying to find out what happened to the group and Oleg Melnikov.