The battle for North Bakhmut has become the latest test of Ukraine’s defences in its ongoing conflict with Russian-backed separatists in the country’s east. The town, which lies just a few kilometers from the front line, has been the scene of intense fighting in recent days, with Ukrainian forces struggling to hold off a renewed offensive by separatist militants.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine has been ongoing since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and separatists declared independence in the Donbass region. The fighting has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions of people, and has remained largely unresolved despite numerous ceasefire agreements and peace talks.
The renewed fighting in North Bakhmut comes amid a wider uptick in violence along the front line, with both sides accusing each other of ceasefire violations and provocations. Ukraine has accused Russia of supplying weapons and support to the separatists, while Russia has denied any involvement in the conflict.
The fighting has raised concerns about the potential for a wider conflict, with Ukraine and its allies, including the United States and the European Union, warning of the dangers of further Russian aggression. The conflict has also had a devastating impact on the local population, with many residents forced to flee their homes and seek refuge elsewhere.
Despite the ongoing conflict, Ukraine has continued to modernize and strengthen its armed forces, with the aim of improving its ability to defend against any further aggression from Russia. The country has also sought to deepen its ties with the West, and has received significant military and financial assistance from the US and other Western countries in recent years.