As Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine approaches its one-year anniversary, civilians continue to fight for their lives under fire in Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast in eastern Ukraine, one of the most conflict-ridden regions of the country.

Ukrainian troops continue to protect Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast, despite the difficult current situation and constant shelling of the city (Oleksandr Babenko for Gwara Media)

Russian troops intensify their offensive against Ukrainian forces around the destroyed Bakhmut, causing more deaths and devastation.

The center of Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast. Lonely residents walk the broken streets and try to survive (Oleksandr Babenko for Gwara Media)

Occupation of the city could disrupt Ukrainian supply lines and open the way for Russian troops to reach Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, key Ukrainian strongholds in Donetsk Oblast.

Locals use bikes to get around. The local trolleybus was suspended in April 2022 as a result of shelling (Oleksandr Babenko for Gwara Media)

Bakhmut survived a prolonged siege without water and electricity, even before the Russian occupiers launched massive strikes to disrupt utilities across Ukraine.

Mostly elderly people remain in the city, receiving humanitarian aid to keep them alive (Oleksandr Babenko for Gwara Media)

According to an estimate by Donetsk Oblast Governor Kyrylenko more than two months ago, 90% of the pre-war population of Bakhmut, which numbered more than 70,000, have fled the city for safety reasons. The remaining people are getting humanitarian aid and trying to survive in extremely difficult circumstances.

The elderly often do not want to leave their hometown, so they stay in Bakhmut even though they have no living conditions (Oleksandr Babenko for Gwara Media)

The explosions are constant: sometimes a few short blasts, other times powerful and long, piercing explosions, rumbling over the snow-covered hills that stretch along the front line between Bakhmut and Soledar. The whistle of an artillery shell landing somewhere nearby and the explosions of mines can be heard.

The Ukrainian military keep up the positive momentum and continue to defend Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast despite tough daily fighting (Oleksandr Babenko for Gwara Media)

This is the daily, constant din of the war in Donbas, where a fierce struggle is underway to break the months-long deadlock that this place, the town of Bakhmut, has become.

The Ukrainian military continue defending Bakhmut in Donetsk Oblast (Oleksandr Babenko for Gwara Media)

For six months now, Ukrainian troops have been fighting off assaults by Russia’s most capable units. The once picturesque city with fountains and alleys has turned into a total wreck.

Gwara Media do not stop showing the struggle and life of Ukrainians in the frontline areas. Earlier, we have visited the village of Dvorichna in Kharkiv Oblast.