One Year On: The Battle for Bakhmut Continues in Russia-Ukraine War

One year has passed since the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, and the battle for Bakhmut is still raging. On March 12, 2023 at 3:00 a.m.[0] EDT, the Ukrainian military reported heavy losses in the fight against the Russian forces.[1] The Russian defence ministry reported “more than 220 Ukrainian servicemen” killed over the past 24 hours.[2] Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reported the death of “more than 1,100 enemy soldiers” in the Bakhmut sector alone in less than a week, between the 6th and 13th of March.[3]

President Zelensky has given Bakhmut political significance, and has made it a symbol of resistance for Ukraine.[4] Russian forces, reportedly largely made up of the Wagner Group, are closing in on Bakhmut and Kyiv fears that its fall would open the road to larger cities.[4] American military experts who recently visited Bakhmut have expressed concern that further defence may yield diminishing returns due to increasing Ukrainian casualties.[5]

Ukraine officials, however, say that the fall of Bakhmut could lead to further Russian advances in the east.[6] It is clear that the Russia-Ukraine war is still raging, and it is uncertain when the conflict will end.

0. “Russia's Wagner Troops Exhaust Ukrainian Forces in Bakhmut” The Wall Street Journal, 5 Mar. 2023,

1. “Ukraine war: Heavy losses reported as battle for Bakhmut rages” BBC, 13 Mar. 2023,

2. “Russia Suffers Major Losses in Bloody Bakhmut Weekend—Kyiv” Newsweek, 13 Mar. 2023,

3. “More than 1,100 enemy soldiers eliminated in Bakhmut sector since March 6” Ukrinform, 12 Mar. 2023,

4. “Bakhmut claims more casualties as Kyiv, Moscow fight for symbolic town” The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Mar. 2023,

5. “The state of the war’s various fronts” Meduza, 11 Mar. 2023,

6. “Wagner mercenary chief demands more ammunition for Bakhmut battle” Al Jazeera English, 11 Mar. 2023,