Before-and-after images of the destroyed Ukrainian city of Bakhmut

Before-and-after images of the destroyed Ukrainian city of Bakhmut
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One year ago, the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, home to some 70,000 people, was known locally for its salt mines and sparkling wine. Today, it is a symbol of Russia’s brutal and relentless war.

For months, both armies have been heavily shelling the city, as seen in video recently released by Ukraine’s military.

Ukrainian forces have been pushing back against Russian troops and Wagner Group mercenaries — many of them released from Russia’s prisons and sent to the front lines after only brief training — since the fall, making the battle for Bakhmut the war’s longest.

Most civilians have fled. Leafy green streets are now scorched landscapes, as shown in before-and-after satellite images from Maxar Technologies. The aerial imagery of Bakhmut’s approximately 10 square miles reveals how homes, schools, shops and a red-roofed theater have been flattened.

If the city has fallen to Russia — as President Vladimir Putin claims — it would be the only significant territorial gain for Moscow since last summer. For Ukrainians, Bakhmut has come to represent resistance. President Volodymyr Zelensky in December called the city “the fortress of our morale.”

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