As the Russian losses in Bakhmut reach the 40,000 mark for the Wagner group alone, the Battle of Bakhmut reminded me of one of the most important battles in history: the Battle of Borodino. There are striking and eerie similarities between both battles.
Bakmuth is connected to the M03 highway which leads to Kyiv and Borodino had a similar position. Set in a wide-open field without many obstructions, Borodino was the first village before the road to Moscow when Napoleon invaded Russia. Napoleon’s Grande Armée, consisting of around 130,000 soldiers stormed the field of Borodino defended by the Russian army. Napoleon went on to lose more than 30,000 men to take over an empty field and access the road to Moscow while the Russian army lost more than 40,000 men. Despite gaining Borodino, Napoleon marched to Moscow with badly bruised, wounded, and tired remnants of an army.
Today, Russia may gain Bakhmuth but the staggering loss of life and resources used to gain the city which is by now empty and in ruins carries echoes of Borodino. Today, historians don’t accredit Napoleon with a victory in Borodino, as they consider the battle more of a suicidal mission that dealt the final blow to his until then invincible army. Borodino was the beginning of Napoleon’s fall and Bakmuth feels the same for Russia. As Russia enters into its Venezuela 2.0 phase and its army collapses in the Ukrainian front lines, Bakhmuth may very well become the beginning of Russia’s fall.
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