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Bakhmut Mayor Oleksiy Reva revealed in an interview on May 31 that 204 residents of the once-prosperous industrial city have been killed and 505 others have been injured since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion.
Among the casualties, there are 17 children who were injured, and four who were killed.
"Today, Bakhmut is nothing but ruins and ashes. It is hard to comprehend that the city we all loved has been completely wiped off the face of the earth by the occupiers. After months of war, Bakhmut's entire infrastructure has been completely destroyed; not a single building is left standing," Reva said.
The war has not only destroyed Bakhmut "but also shattered the lives of tens of thousands of people. Families have been torn apart, destinies have been mutilated, and dreams have been shattered," Reva added.
According to the mayor, there were approximately 80,000 people in Bakhmut prior to the full-scale invasion, with 70,000 of them residents of the city. Officials estimate that only 500 people are left in Bakhmut today.
The Battle of Bakhmut has raged for 10 months as Russian forces attempt to advance their positions in Donetsk Oblast.
On May 20, Russia's Wagner mercenary group claimed that it had captured the city. While Kyiv has not officially acknowledged the fall of Bakhmut, both official statements and accounts from soldiers on the ground shared with the Kyiv Independent effectively convey a similar scenario.
However, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on May 31 that Ukrainian forces controlled the entrance to Bakhmut, as well as the southwestern outskirts of the city. Maliar also highlighted an upsurge in the frequency of Russian artillery shelling comparable to the heaviest periods of fighting in months prior.