Months into the war, we’re ending the year with the Ukraine-Russia discourse still happening. Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly tried to open negotiations on peace talks, but it’s an all-or-nothing option. Meanwhile, his forces began to crumble even further, especially as the winter season became more challenging for the soldiers to run missions or operations.

SOFREP has previously noted that Bakhmut will be a critical turning point for Ukraine and Russia because of its strategic and symbolic advantages for each nation. This town of 70,000 people had Russians pounding on the city with missile attacks for months as its once-elegant city center turned into debris and was made into antitank trenches. Many of its people have become so accustomed to the sound of the bombing that they “no longer pay attention” to the military happenings around the area.