Dramatic footage shows Ukrainian city on frontline engulfed in flames
Ukraine: Drone captures destruction in Bakhmut
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Dramatic aerial footage has shown the full scale of Russia’s barbaric assault on the eastern city of Bakhmut as plumes of smoke seep from the debris of shelled buildings, intermittent fires break out amid the rubble and the sound of exploding missiles reverberate through the streets by the minute hand. Located just 90 kilometres north of Donetsk city, the region’s administrative capital, the small city of Bakhmut has been razed to the ground both by constant shelling and continual fighting. Reported to be of personal interest to Vladimir Putin, the area has been described as “the meat grinder” and a “Russian-made hell on Earth” due to the devastation that has beset it over the last seven months.
For billions around the world, the term “new normal” referred to the arresting effect of the pandemic; social distancing and working from home turned cities into quiet, emptier areas.
Though the residents of Bakhmut have spent months confined largely to their homes – more specifically, their basements – the phrase “new normal” has acquired a different meaning altogether.
“They don’t care, they don’t scare. This situation for them is normal”, said Leonid, a Ukrainian combat medic based in Bakhmut, about the civilians.
For the remaining residents of Bakhmut, the “new normal” involves round-the-lock Russian missile strikes, with scores of houses and apartment blocks reduced to rubble, and the evacuation of tens of thousands of their neighbours, as well as the constant presence of armed soldiers, engaged in conflict.
What was once a peaceful small city of 72,000 is now a “a Russian-made hell on eErth” with just 12,000 people left.
Aerial footage taken by a quadcopter showed a once-flourishing city ripped to pieces as more shells fell on the area.
A whole L-shaped apartment block is seen with the majority of its roof blown up and swathes of the building blown apart.
In the distance, plumes of smoke rise up from the cityscape while raging fires break out across the region.
In the last 36 hours, Russian forces have been repelled by Ukrainian troops to the northeast and south of the city.
Reports suggest that Russia’s vicious mercenary Wagner Group fighters are operating a pincer movement on the Ukrainian troops within the city alongside soldiers from the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR).
Multiple Russian sources have also circulated footage of Ukrainian trenches within the city, suggesting they are preparing for imminent urban combat.
And further sources have suggested that in the region of Obytne three kilometres south of Bakhmut, Wagner Group forces are being replenished, possibly by Russian convicts, a staple hiring ground for the mercenary outfit.
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Military analysts have said that Russian forces likely have until mid-December, before the onset of full winter conditions make more difficult the prospect of fighting, to achieve significant advances in Bakhmut.
The looming winter has allegedly created an urgency among the Russian forces, hence the addition of further troops.
But the Institute for the Study of War recently concluded that even if Russia were to force a Ukrainian withdrawal from the city, the area would be of little operational benefit to Putin.
They wrote: “The costs associated with six months of brutal, grinding and attrition-based combat around Bakhmut far outweigh any operational advantage that the Russians can obtain from taking Bakhmut.”
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