Ukrainian servicemen walk through debris in the frontline city of Bakhmut


  • Ukraine's defense ministry revealed satellite pictures of Bakhmut before and after the Russian-led war
  • Bakhmut's latest satellite image showed the city flattened and reduced into ruins by the war
  • Russian military personnel withdrew from their positions near the city, Ukraine and the Wagner group claimed

Ukraine has revealed the extent of destruction in the embattled city of Bakhmut one year after the Russian forces launched its offensive campaign.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Twitter account posted two satellite pictures showing the moments before and after Russia launched a protracted and fierce fight to capture Bakhmut.

In the first picture taken in May last year, several civilian infrastructures, private homes and lots of trees could be seen in the city.

However, a year after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, a scorched and flattened Bakhmut neighborhood could only be seen from space.

"This is not the result of an earthquake, nor of a meteorite hitting the Earth, nor of a volcanic eruption," the Ukrainian defense ministry said.

"It is much worse... the 'Russian world' came to Bakhmut," it added.

The city is still witnessing the fiercest battles between the two warring countries. But Russian troops reportedly abandoned their combat positions in Bakhmut, giving Ukraine a much-needed advantage on the battlefield.

Reuters reported, citing the Ukrainian military and the Russian paramilitary Wagner group, that some Russian military personnel have withdrawn from the city and shifted into bombarding access roads to slow the Ukrainian forces.

"Now, for the most part, as we have started to advance, they are shelling all the routes to front positions, so our armored vehicles can't deliver more infantry, ammunition and other things," according to Petro Podaru, the commander of a Ukrainian artillery unit.

In televised comments, Ukrainian military spokesperson Serhiy Cherevatyi confirmed their forces are gaining a foothold in Bakhmut "despite the fact that our units do not have an advantage in equipment."

Oleksander Syrskyi, the commander of the Ukrainian Ground Forces, claimed they are destroying Russia's plans to capture Bakhmut by "using the principle of active defense."

Syrskyi also compared Russian mercenary fighters in Bakhmut to "rats [climbing] into a mousetrap."

Meanwhile, Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch and the leader of the Wagner mercenary group, lashed out against Russia's regular forces for abandoning their combat positions in the north and south of the besieged city.

Prigozhin said Russian military units have "withdrawn up to 570 meters," exposing their flanks.

"Please do not give up the flanks," Prigozhin said in his latest voice message addressed to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Russian military chief Valery Gerasimov.

Russia's defense ministry admitted that some of its troops on the ground have retreated from their positions near the city. But they denied Prigozhin's accusations that Russian flanks are crumbling or it has stopped providing ammunition to Wagner fighters.

A Russian uniform is seen Russian positions after a fight near the front line city of Bakhmut