Bakhmut, a city in eastern Ukraine, is a picture of destruction caused by Russia’s invasion of the country.
The battle for the city has become the longest of the war, with Russia launching a major offensive in July 2022 after it took Severodonetsk. Despite the high cost in lives, the UK Ministry of Defence has outlined the city’s limited operational value in helping Russia press further into the Donbas. The fight has become almost symbolic, with “Bakhmut holds” now a rallying cry for Ukrainians. The streets of the city are nearly empty of civilians, save for the occasional elderly person and soldiers guarding the city. The Mad Pack, a special forces unit fighting in Bakhmut, live in a base swaddled in concrete to avoid the shelling.