By Matthew Roscoe •
Published: 14 Sep 2022 • 17:54
Russian slavery fighter Oleg Melnikov feared dead after disappearing in Kharkiv Region. Image: Baza/Telegram
Slavery fighter Oleg Melnikov, who is believed to have arrived in Ukraine’s Kharkiv Region with a colleague to distribute humanitarian aid, has disappeared and is feared dead.
According to Baza, Melnikov was last seen on September 9, during the height of Ukraine’s counteroffensive in the region.
He was due to return to Russia, as reported by the media outlet, due to the fact the area was ‘getting too dangerous’, however, he then disappeared and lost contact with his ‘Alternative’ group.
His whereabouts for the past five days is unknown.
Melnikov used to cover most of the organisation’s expenses, according to the members of the movement.
The group said that due to Melnikov’s disappearance, there are problems with financing and because of this, Alternative has now stopped accepting new applications for people’s assistance and had suspended its activities.
According to their website, the Alternative movement was founded in 2011 by Oleg Melnikov.
The purpose of the organisation is the liberation of people from various types of slavery. Over the entire period of its existence, 1,500 people were released. Another 2,400 people got home with the help of the Alternative.
As previously reported, on Monday, September 12, Ukraine recaptured nearly the whole of the Kharkiv Oblast in a rapid counter-offensive against Russia’s forces, according to the US Institute for the study of war (ISW).
On Tuesday, September 13, British intelligence revealed that the Russian 1st Guards Tank Army was pushed out from Kharkiv.
Also on Tuesday, September 13, Ukraine’s Armed Forces announced that they had officially ‘liberated’ five settlements in the Kherson region.
The counteroffensive from Ukraine was hailed as a clever diversion ‘because it was so credible’.
According to Jarmo Lindberg, a former commander of the Defence Forces of Finland, Ukraine’s clever diversion succeeded in Kharkiv because it was so credible.
“Ukraine’s successful offensive in the Kharkiv region was based on a clever diversion that was built up to be entirely credible,” Lindberg said in an interview with STT on Wednesday, September 14.
He added: “In addition to President Volodymyr Zelensky’s openly expressed intentions to attack, Ukraine also massed troops in the south at Kherson, where it used long-range weapons in a manner reminiscent of normal offensive preparations.
“This gave the Russians good reason to believe that an attack was imminent.”
He added: “It is quite rare that the commander-in-chief himself gives a five-point hint as to which direction the next attack will take. But now it’s in a different context, it was part of this diversionary story.
“The diversion must seem strategically sound and the story plausible, but then it all has to be proven by action. After all, the Russians have satellites to see whether there are troops there or not.”
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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