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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Russia Claims Bakhmut

Russian officials claimed their nine-month campaign to capture the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut had succeeded Saturday, marking its first significant conquest since last summer. On Sunday, Ukrainian officials denied the claims after comments from the country's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaking from the G-7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, appeared to indicate otherwise. Analysts claim the city, located roughly 30 miles north of the capital of the region of Donetsk, is not strategically significant but became symbolically important to Russia after some initial territorial gains last March were lost in a Ukrainian counteroffensive in the fall. Some of the war's deadliest fighting has occurred in the 400-year-old city, reducing its prewar population of 80,000 to near zero and the majority of its buildings to rubble (see images). Intense fighting in the city has depleted munitions and manpower on both sides, with the US estimating Russia has sustained 100,000 casualties in five months of fighting there, including 20,000 deaths.

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