Fortress city on Ukrainian front continues to hold despite increased fighting


Bakhmut: the Fortress City of the Ukrainian Front

Bakhmut, once a city with a population of 73,000, has been reduced to a ghost town after months of intense fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces. The city, also known as Artemivsk, has been subject to air and artillery attacks with many residential buildings badly damaged, leaving thousands homeless with nowhere to return to.

The situation in Bakhmut is bleak. Most of the citizens have left, and those who remain are mostly sick or living alone. However, the Ukrainian soldiers continue to defend the city, with NATO leaders warning that the city could still fall despite the determination of the military and political factions of the country.

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Many of the buildings of historical importance, including the Palace of Culture and the former women’s institute, have been destroyed, along with residential buildings that were considered iconic postcards of the city. The situation in the city has deteriorated with the power grid being damaged, making it extremely difficult to get food, and the mobile network collapsing.

In the midst of the chaos, volunteer aid workers have been attacked while Ukrainian medics work tirelessly to stabilize the wounded, preventing deaths from shock and blood loss.

As of March 2023, more than 80% of homes in Bakhmut have been destroyed by fighting, with satellite images showing the extent of damage in the city.

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Despite the bleak situation, many citizens remain in the city, living in fear, and queuing up for aid. The Ukrainian army continues to resist all attacks while Bakhmut’s Ukrainian flag was presented to Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, signed by soldiers who are on the front lines.

For those who remain in the city, life is one of everyday survival in the basement – they’re accustomed to the hissing and banging from shelling, ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice. But the situation worsens, with human suffering multiplying, and there’s a need for a long-term solution to stabilise the situation in Bakhmut.

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