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Putin Will Be Really Upset: Zelenskyy Makes Surprise Visit to Bakhmut

NASAMS like used in Ukraine. Image Credit: Raytheon.
NASAMS like used in Ukraine. Image Credit: Raytheon.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise visit to Bakhmut, a front-line city located in Donetsk Oblast.

The city remains a target for Russian forces looking to gain complete control over the contested Donbas region and has witnessed intense fighting in recent months – with most parts of the city left with virtually no remaining civilian and residential infrastructure.

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The Ukrainian president met soldiers in the city and handed out medals. Photographs shared online shows Zelenskyy shaking hands with soldiers, and commenters praised his bravery for entering the dangerous region of Ukraine.

Zelenskyy’s office described how he visited the city to meet with soldiers who had been holding off Russian invaders for months, and during the visit, the president told the soldiers how the entire country is proud of them.

“Ukraine is proud of you. I am proud of you!” Zelenskyy said. “Thank you for the courage, resilience and strength shown in repelling the enemy attacks.”

Why Bakhmut Matters

Bakhmut is one major city in Donetsk Oblast that has remained under Ukrainian control over the last 10 months, and Russians know that taking control of the city would effectively destroy Ukraine’s main supply lines.

Taking control of Bakhmut would also give Russian forces a major advantage in reaching other territories in Donetsk Oblast still under Ukrainian control, allowing them to head towards Sloviansk and Kramatorskt.

For Ukrainian troops, the fight has been tough but necessary. Photographs shared via international media this month shows how the city has been left almost entirely destroyed. President Zelenskyy said during a recent nightly address that Bakhmut is one of several Ukrainian cities left with no region untouched by Russian artillery.

“Bakhmut, Soledar, Maryinka, Kreminna. For a long time, there is no living place left on the land of these areas that have not been damaged by shells and fire,” Zelenskyy said, adding that the city has been turned into “burned ruins.”

Watch Ukrainian Strike On Wagner Forces In Bakhmut

Video footage shared on Telegram this week shows a Ukrainian ATGM strike on Wagner and Russian fighters in the Bakhmut direction. The footage shows soldiers walking along a trench or a ditch in rural land, before suddenly being engulfed by a sizeable explosion.

The Telegram account that shared the video described how the “Third Force continues to hunt Wagner’s mercenaries in the direction of Bakhmut.”

“Thanks to the brave infantry holding Bakhmut, we are able to track down and destroy the assault groups of the Russian fascists,” the post continues.

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Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.

Written By

Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive's Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.