Russia pushed forward just 60ft a day, suffered up to 100,000 casualties, and left Bakhmut a shattered hellscape in a painfully slow grinding nine month advance.
Vladimir Putin’s forces took almost 300 days to seize control of the city which has been described as having only limited wider strategic importance to the war in Ukraine.
Dawn broke today over the wasteland as pictured showed smoke still rising from the ruins of Bakhmut – that was once home to 73,000 Ukrainians.
Pictures showed still burning buildings and totally ruined streets devoid of all life after months of what has been described as a “bloodiest battle” of the war in Ukraine.
Bakhmut is a salt-mining city in the east – and was located between 10 and 15 miles from the borders of the pro-Russian regions which attempted to breakaway in 2014.
Rebel groups did attempt to attack the city at the time – but were repelled by the Ukrainians.
And the city itself is only 16 square miles – and around four miles across, meaning you could walk from west to the east in around on hour.
But instead pushing through the city has taken the Russians nearly 300 days since the Bakhmut offensive began on August 1.
Bakhmut was described as British defence officials has having “limited operational value”.
Ukraine had been holding the city in an effort to whittle down Russian forces – and to deprive them of a symbolic win.
“The offensive potential of the enemy has been significantly reduced, huge losses have been inflicted on the enemy, we have gained time for certain actions, which will be revealed later,” said Ukrainian deputy defence chief Hanna Maliar.
Ukraine says their soldiers have played a key role in their strategy of exhausting the Russians.
And they say their current positions in the areas surrounding Bakhmut will let them strike back inside the 400-year-old city.
The city was immediately on the frontline of the war when Putin invaded on February 24, 2022 – being regularly shelled by the Russians
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