One Year On: The Brutal Battle for Bakhmut Continues

The battle for control of Bakhmut, a fiercely contested city in Ukraine, has been raging for over a year, with both Russia and Ukraine sustaining heavy losses. On Sunday 13 March 2023, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reported that in less than a week since 6 March, over 1,100 enemy soldiers had been killed in the Bakhmut sector alone.[0] Russia has also reported suffering losses, claiming that 220 Ukrainian service members were killed in a single day in Donetsk.[1]

The Ukrainian government is desperate to keep Bakhmut from falling into Russian hands as it could open the road to larger cities such as Kramatorsk and Sloviansk. To do this, they have assigned the city great symbolic meaning, making it an emblem of resistance. Russian forces, largely made up of mercenaries from the Wagner Group, are closing in on Bakhmut, pushing Ukrainian troops to the city’s western edge and trying to encircle and annihilate them.[2]

The battle is a vicious one, with both sides engaging in devastating artillery duels. Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner Group, described the situation as “tough, very tough”, and said that “the closer we are to the center of the city, the harder the fighting… The Ukrainians throw in endless reserves. But we are advancing and we will be advancing”.[3] The Commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces Oleksandr Syrskyi reported that the situation around Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast is challenging, with the occupiers continuing to suffer heavy losses.[4]

One year on since the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the battle for Bakhmut is still in full force, with both sides continuing to suffer significant losses. It remains to be seen which side will eventually gain control of the city.

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

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

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

3. “Heavy Casualties Reported As Battle For Bakhmut Rages On” Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, 13 Mar. 2023,

4. “Wagnerites trying to break through to central Bakhmut, attacking from several directions” Yahoo Entertainment, 13 Mar. 2023,