Why Russia and Ukraine are fighting over Bakhmut

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

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

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

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