The tipping point of the battle of Bakhmut is near, with the Russian forces bringing in new troops in a bid to break the grip of Ukraine on this eastern city. The steps are also aimed at securing the first major victory in battle for Putin since early this summer.

Following eight months in which Russian forces have faced grinding combat, they are now approaching the city from three different directions, which has left the main supply line in the Ukraine under huge pressure. This assault has left Kyiv with a hard choice to make concerning how much it will cost to hold ground.

Even though analysts have said that the city of Bakhmut is insignificant militarily, it has become the point of attention for resistance from Ukrainian forces and the drive by Moscow to reacquire momentum in the battlefield.

The Ukrainians have developed a habit of referring to the city as “Fortress Bakhmut” since it is still standing despite the heavy fighting it has experienced. Also, “Bakhmut holds” has developed into a battle cry that is being used by soldiers and those supporting them. President Volodymyr Zelensky has also used the term in his recent nightly addresses.

However, a relentless shelling and attacks emulating war styles from the First World War by Russian forces have given them the ability to capture a number of villages and towns surrounding Bakhmut. The most notable capture has been that of Soledar, the salt mining town found about 15km due north.

The assault has been largely led by Wagner Group fighters, who are mercenaries from an organization that was established by Evgeny Prigozhin, a close ally of Putin. Most of the fighters of this group were recruited from the prison colonies found in the far-flung regions of Russia. Ukrainian war officials have said that the troops have started getting support from regular well-trained Russian troops to successfully surround the city.