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The battle for Bakhmut: Ukrainian city a smoking ruin as Russians forced back in disarray

As it races across the dry land, an armoured personnel vehicle kicks up dust.

The boggy farm tracks are now hardened and dry.

The Ukrainian Army has experienced a new pace after months of setbacks.

They are now attacking their enemy in the open country around Bakhmut.


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According to the Institute for the Study of War, around 10 square miles of the city’s beleaguered area have been liberated over the past week.

The 3rd Brigade, which was responsible for the counteroffensive, which sparked more fighting along the northern and south flanks of Bakhmut wanted to show how they were pushing the Russians away.

Fighting is still fierce here and you will have to walk the last few hundred meters towards the new frontline across wide open terrain.

The new Russian line is not far off.

We are only a few hundred meters away.

Image: Helmet-camera footage of Ukrainian soldiers clearing areas from Russian forces
Image: Ukrainian troops advance towards Russian positions

An army in disarray

We can hear machine guns in the distance as we walk through what was Russian-occupied land just a few days ago.

Dotsent is our military guide and shows us where the Russians were hiding when the surprise Ukrainian assault began.

He points to a trench decimated by gunfire and shrapnel in the middle of a forest.

There were many obvious wounds; tourniquets were being used, as were field dressings. Clothing was also torn and ripped.

On the ground, a helmet with a bullet-hole was lying.

Those who fled quickly left behind ammunition crates.

This is a picture of an army in chaos.

Image: Russian troops can be seen fleeing Ukraine’s forces

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Dotsent took part in the attack and describes a bloody battle.

Armed vehicles were used to storm the positions of those who refused surrender. Or grenades were used to clear out their positions.

Shelling has left a smear on what should be wheat fields.

Dotsent says: “Regarding our advance, and how many Russian casualties there were along the entire line – this is just preliminary information. It’s amazing.” This boosts our morale. “Everyone is in high spirits now.”

Such offensives are not without cost.

Two people were killed, and both were young. What can we do?

Image: Dotsent is involved in the assault against Russia’s forces

As we left, a soldier from further up the front appeared with a pickup truck that was carrying a dead Russian.

“Our people killed Him. He has many wounds, so it could have been mortars. There are many dead bodies. “There are too many.”

He’s impatient to go, the sounds of shelling are getting louder nearby and he still has much work to do.

Image: Ukrainian troops use grenades and storm Russian positions
Image: An Ukrainian soldier fires from the side an armored vehicle

‘Of course we are optimistic’

Drones are used by soldiers to scan the terrain for Russian movements in the brigade’s underground bunker, a few kilometers from the frontline.

The livestream shows us the city of Bakhmut.

The smokey ruin is a collection of burned and destroyed buildings.

The shelling has left no one untouched.

Image: A Ukrainian Soldier says that the troops are “optimistic”

Even though Ukraine has been successful in recent times, Russia still controls 90% the city.

Their military campaign has focused on this for several months.

With the new Western weapons and additional training, Ukrainian soldiers are confident that they can win their country back.

They say: “Of Course we are optimistic.” We know exactly what we’re doing. We know how to attack or defend. “We know that we will eventually win this war, whether it takes two, three or five years. I don’t even know.”

Even the troops on the front lines are still guessing when the main counteroffensive will come.

They know that their time will come and say they are prepared.


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