Bakhmut Under Heavy Russian Shelling

The Ukraine city of Bakhmut came under heavy Russian artillery fire on February 13 in what some believe is a new and more intense Russian offensive.

  • Ukraine’s military said 16 settlements near the eastern city of Bakhmut were bombarded by Russian assaults led by mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner group, a de facto unit of Russia’s Defense Ministry.
  • Russia claims to have pushed back the front line in some areas, but certain statements have been debunked by Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and research teams.
  • Only military personnel are now allowed in the city of Bakhmut, and civilians trying to leave face heavy Russian fire.

[E]verything that moves in Bakhmut is a target—soldier or civilian.
—Orla Guerin, bbc News journalist stationed in Bakhmut

  • Russia has control of both of the main roads into Bakhmut, leaving only one Ukrainian supply line into the city.

Bakhmut is a heavily fortified city in eastern Ukraine and is considered one of the bloodiest battlegrounds of the war. If Russia captures this city, it would be well positioned to capture two other big cities, Kramatorsk and Sloviansk in Donetsk, and could secure a victory before the anniversary of the war on February 24.

Almost one year since the invasion, [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin is not preparing for peace, he is launching new offensives. … It is clear that we are in a race of logistics.
—Jens Stoltenberg, nato secretary general

The Trumpet said: “Putin’s Russia is supposed to be a ferocious military power …. To achieve anything less than a decisive victory in Ukraine would bring all of this crashing down,” we wrote in “Putin Can’t Afford to Lose in Ukraine” a week after Russia invaded. “It would be humiliating loss of face for Putin and would showcase Russia as a failure in the one area where it professes to be untouchable: military power.”

Failure is not an option for President Putin. The anniversary of Russia’s invasion is almost here, and Russia’s war efforts will pick up momentum from this point on.