In the spring of 2023, Russia began its feared offensive in Ukraine to take the war-torn Bakhmut. No one knows for sure what strategic value Bakhmut has that made the two sides keen on keeping it. President Zelensky insisted that giving up Bakhmut will allow Russia an open road to cities in Ukraine. But then, Bakhmut is always a Ukraine’s territory, hence its army has every right to fight for it. As for the Russian side, many see its costly efforts as an attempt to save its face. Things never became right for Putin when the war began, and his army is hungry for a major victory. And its mercenary army Wagner is also seeking prestige by capturing the ravaged city.