Why Russia and Ukraine are combating over Bakhmut

If there’s one metropolis that has come to represent the grinding conflict of attrition in Ukraine, it’s Bakhmut.

Russian army and Wagner Group mercenary forces have pummeled town for months, lowering it to a charred ghost city. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mourned the destruction of town on Sunday, saying ravaged Bakhmut now lives “solely in our hearts.”

Earlier than Russia’s invasion final yr, Bakhmut was principally referred to as a middle of the salt trade. However the relentless, intensifying struggle for management of town — which analysts say holds little strategic significance — has made it a rallying cry and political battleground for either side. The town has lengthy seemed to be on the verge of falling, however Ukrainian officers say fighters there are clinging on.

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