Amidst Russian proclamations of capturing the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, senior military officials in Ukraine vehemently assert that the arduous nine-month-long battle is far from concluded.
Though Ukraine’s hold on the city now extends only to a minute portion, Kyiv remains resolute in declaring that its forces played a pivotal role in a calculated strategy to wear down the Russian military, vowing to persist in combat. Tragically, tens of thousands of soldiers from both factions have perished in this protracted conflict.
Revealing satellite imagery unveils the devastation wreaked upon Bakhmut’s infrastructure, as relentless artillery barrages have reduced once-standing edifices, including residential complexes, to mere heaps of rubble.
In a Russian state TV broadcast, footage from the smoldering city showcased exultant Russian fighters exclaiming “Victory!” while hoisting two flags atop a partially demolished, towering structure—the Russian tricolor flag alongside the black ensign of the private military contractor Wagner. The correspondent emphasized the deliberate placement of these flags, ensuring their conspicuous visibility, despite the fact that this war-ravaged, desolate 400-year-old city now eerily resembles a spectral remnant, bearing witness to the war’s longest and bloodiest battle.
For Ukraine, the crucial elements lie in inflicting substantial casualties upon their foe and eroding their adversary’s morale, all within the confines of this minute sector along the vast 1,500-kilometer (932-mile) front line, as Kyiv readies itself for an impending counteroffensive in this 15-month-long conflict.
Hanna Maliar, Ukraine’s deputy defense minister, emphasized that the Russians failed to completely encircle Bakhmut and lost control over certain elevated positions encircling the city.
“Our troops’ continued advancement in the outskirts poses a significant hindrance to the enemy’s presence,” Maliar affirmed. “By securing a semi-encirclement of the city, we now possess the opportunity to decimate our foe.”