History of Bakhmut this is a city in eastern Ukraine that has a rich history. Here are some key points of this region:
- The history of Bakhmut before the 18th century is sparse. It was initially a border post that later became a fortified town
- In 1701, Peter I ordered the fort at Bakhmut to be upgraded and the adjacent sloboda (free village) of Bakhmut be designated a city. The new fort was completed in 1703 and housed 170 people
- The town originated in the 17th century as a fort protecting the Russian frontiers against the Crimean Tatars. Peter I (the Great) established a salt industry there in 1701
Its history began in the middle of the 18th century when the development of gypsum deposits began in Bakhmut
- The origin of the name Bakhmut is not completely clear, but according to a theory by Kharkiv historian Igor Rassokha, the word may derive from a Turkic/Tatar word meaning ‘salt water’ or ‘beach’
- The coat of arms of Bakhmut symbolizes the natural wealth of the Bakhmut land and the main occupation of the local population – salt extraction
- The city has been the site of intense fighting during the Russia-Ukraine war, with both sides battling for control
- The battle for Bakhmut has been fought from trenches with relentless artillery and rocket strikes across a heavily-mined battlefield described as a “meat grinder” by commanders on both sides. It has also involved house-to-house fighting
- Bakhmut had a pre-war population of 70,000-80,000, but fewer than 4,000 civilians, including 38 children, were thought to remain as of March 2023
- If Bakhmut is taken, it will significantly degrade the Russian military force, Wagner, and its ability to sustain attacks on Ukrainian positions will be questionable
why Russia wants to capture Bakhmut
Russia has been fighting to capture Bakhmut, a small city in eastern Ukraine, for months. Here are some reasons why Russia is so determined to capture it
- Strategic value: While Bakhmut holds little value itself in strategic terms, Russia will use the city as a stepping stone toward its goal of capturing the entire Donbas region.
- Gateway to other cities: Bakhmut is seen as “a gateway” to other cities like Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, both of which have been subject to recent Russian missile strikes
Military advantage: Capturing Bakhmut would give Russia a military advantage and could allow them to threaten larger urban areas
- Symbolic value: Bakhmut holds “huge symbolic value” for Russia, according to some analysts
- Weakening Ukraine: One of Ukraine’s main strategic purposes is to weaken Russia’s army, and Bakhmut has become a “meat grinder” for Russia’s most capable forces.
- Exhaustion tactic: Russia’s tactic is to exhaust Ukraine’s troops and then attack.
- Putin’s war aim: Capturing the Donetsk region is one of Putin’s stated war aims, and capturing Bakhmut is essential for achieving this goal. Despite Russia’s efforts, some experts are skeptical that they will be able to swiftly capitalize on Bakhmut’s capture given how long they have been fighting there
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which forces are currently in control of Bakhmut
There are conflicting reports on which forces are currently in control of Bakhmut. Some sources indicate that Russian forces have taken control of the city, while others suggest that Ukrainian forces are still fighting to hold parts of it. Here is a summary of the different reports:
- Russian forces have taken control of Bakhmut, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the mercenary Wagner group
- However, Ukraine denies these claims and says it still holds parts of the city
- Ukrainian forces are still fighting to hold the south-west fringes of the city, which have been devastated by months of fighting
- The Institute of the Study of War believes that Wagner’s offensive is likely to be at its culmination point, and it is unlikely that Wagner will continue fighting beyond Bakhmut at its current depleted state
- Wagner forces are unlikely to successfully conduct a controlled withdrawal from Bakhmut while in contact with Ukrainian forces within five days
- Overall, it is difficult to determine with certainty which forces are currently in control of Bakhmut.
Why Russia paid such a big price to capture Bakhmut
According to the army’s claim, Bakhmut has been occupied by Russia. The question is, why have you sacrificed your life to control this small town?
After nine months of brutal fighting and heavy casualties, Russia claims it has now captured the town of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine.
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According to reports, 80 thousand to 2 lakh soldiers have died during the occupation of Bakhmut. The big question is, what is it in Bakhmut that Russia has paid such a huge price to capture it?
This small region was the key to unlocking Ukraine for Russia. This is the same area where the NATO base was being built for the past several years. Whose aim was to dismember Russia. But Russia destroyed the purpose of NATO by occupying this part. Russia burnt NATO’s dreams to ashes with NATO’s own ammunition.
Strategically, Bakhmut is so important that if this area remained with Ukraine, Ukraine could easily target Russian logistics and target Russian forces from the rear with the help of NATO.
But now this fort is in the hands of Russia and Russia knows how it can be used against Ukraine and NATO.