VICE World News spent 2 weeks inside the besieged city of Bakhmut, which has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance and Russia’s desperation to overwhelm Ukraine’s defenders. “Three Hundred! Thirty! Three!” – The mortarman shouts out, loading another 150 millimetre projectile into the cannon. It’s an old Soviet firing chant meant to replace the traditional  “3, 2, 1” that this team of Belarusian legionaries fighting to support Ukrainian forces enact as a cheeky nod to days gone by. A massive thud shakes the leaves off a tree nearby and the crew runs to reload another round. (…) It’s nearly 2AM on a winter night just a few miles outside of Bakhmut, a city in Eastern Ukraine. Aside from the glow of cigarettes and a few tactical red lights, it’s pitch black. Melnikov and his team are many hours into their planned attack on Russian forces. Their job is a flowing motion of repetitive steps. They listen quietly to a radio. On the other side, a hidden Ukrainian reconnaissance team is just a few miles up the road far past the enemy lines, creeping dangerously close to unwitting Russian troops. (…) For months, Russia has been attacking this small Eastern Ukrainian city with little regard for human life. Thousands of Russian troops have piled into the fight. Some from the elite infamous Wagner mercenary group and others barely trained and recently mobilised by the Russian government, all fighting and dying as they push to control Bakhmut. But try as they might, Ukrainian forces have so far stopped them. Both sides are slowly fighting for inches at a time with casualties increasing. (…) Devoid of all but a few thousand of its pre-invasion population of roughly 75,000 residents, Bakhmut is now a charred shadow of its past. The stands of the local football stadium are torn from a massive explosion. The town square is a bread distribution point rutted with mortar and artillery shell hits. The local clinic is a bustling military evacuation point filled with a constant stream of dead and injured Ukrainian soldiers and civilians.

via vice: ‘They Held Stalingrad. We’re Holding Bakhmut’: Inside Ukraine’s Shattered City

screenshot telegram
Categories: AllgemeinGewalt