Bakhmut (Ukrainian: Бахму́т, pronounced [bɐxˈmut]) is a city and the administrative centre of Bakhmut Raion in the Donetsk Oblast of Ukraine. It is located on the Bakhmutka River about 89 km away from the administrative center of the Donetsk Oblast, Donetsk. Population: 71,094 (2022 est.)[3]

Бахмутская Земська Управа.jpg
Храм Всех Святых (Бахмут).jpg
Artemivs'kyi district, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine - panoramio (4).jpg
Flag of Bakhmut
Coat of arms of Bakhmut
Bakhmut is located in Donetsk Oblast
Bakhmut is located in Ukraine
Coordinates: 48°35′41″N 38°0′3″E / 48.59472°N 38.00083°E / 48.59472; 38.00083Coordinates: 48°35′41″N 38°0′3″E / 48.59472°N 38.00083°E / 48.59472; 38.00083
Country Ukraine
Oblast Donetsk Oblast
RaionBakhmut Raion
Foundedbefore 1571
City rights1783[1]
 • MayorOleksiy Reva [uk; ru] (since 1990)[2]
41.6 km2 (16.1 sq mi)
200 m (700 ft)

From 1924 to 2016, the city was called Artemivsk (Ukrainian: Артемівськ) or Artyomovsk (Russian: Артёмовск). On 4 February 2016 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine confirmed the name change of the city by returning to the original one.[4][5] Prior to 2020, when the designation was abolished, Bakhmut was designated a "city of regional significance" (Ukrainian: місто обласного значення, misto oblasnoho znachennya).

Bakhmut was the capital of Slavo-Serbia, which was established by Serbian migrants from Austria. In 1920–24, the city was an administrative center of Donets Governorate of the Ukrainian SSR.

Historical map of Bakhmut and its fortifications
Freedom Square in Bakhmut
Former gymnasium
Railway institute building
Old bank building
Downtown Bakhmut
City council
Soviet-built microdistrict


There is a theory that the origin of the word "Bakhmut" is a distorted version of the word "Muhammad"/"Mahmud" in Turkish/Tatar. Another theory is that a similar variant of the same word means "salt water". In both cases, the name of the city is considered to be associated with the former Turkish/Tatar possession of the surrounding lands.[6]


There is evidence of prior settlement in 1556, but the first official mention of Bakhmut dates from 1571. The settlement was described then as a guard-fort (storozha) named after the nearby Bakhmutka River, a tributary of the Seversky Donets River, and located at the mouth of a stream called the Chornyi Zherebets.[7] The origin of the name Bakhmut is uncertain, but it may come from the Tatar name Mahmud or Mahmet.[7]

The history of Bakhmut before the 18th century is sparse. It was initially a border post that later became a fortified town.[7] In 1701, Peter I ordered the fort at Bakhmut to be upgraded and the adjacent sloboda (free village) of Bakhmut be designated a city.[7] The new fort was completed in 1703 and housed 170 people.[7] In 1704 Peter commanded some Cossacks to settle at the Bakhmutka river and mine salt.[7] The population of Bakhmut doubled, and the town was assigned to the Izium Regiment, a province of Sloboda Ukraine.[7]

In the autumn of 1705, Bakhmut became one of the centers of the Bulavin Rebellion. A detachment of Cossacks headed by Ataman Kondraty Bulavin captured the Bakhmut salt mines[8] and occupied the city until March 7, 1708, when it was retaken by government troops.

From 1708 to April 22, 1725, Bakhmut was assigned to the Azov Governorate. On May 29, 1719, it became the administrative center of Bakhmut Province within the Azov Governorate.[9] From 1753 to 1764, it was a major city of Slavo-Serbia, a territory inhabited by colonists from Serbia and elsewhere.

In 1783, Bakhmut became a city within the Yekaterinoslav province (Novorossiysk Governorate).[10] At this time the city contained 49 great houses and five factories that produced bricks, candles, and soap. The city had about 150 shops, a hospital, and three schools: two private boarding schools for children of wealthy parents, and a Sunday school for children of workers. Bakhmut had a large city center where fairs were held twice a year, on July 12 (Day of the Apostles Peter and Paul) and September 21 (Day of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary). The city's annual turnover was about 1 million rubles.

On August 2, 1811, the city emblem was approved.

On January 25, 1851, the city became a municipality, with Vasily I. Pershin as mayor. In 1875, a municipal water system was installed. Streets were paved in 1900.

In 1876 large deposits of rock salt were discovered in the Bakhmut Basin, leading to a rapid increase in the number of salt mines. Bakhmut soon produced 12% of the total Russian output of salt.

The construction of the Kharkov-Bakhmut-Popasnaya railroad encouraged production of alabaster, plaster, brick, tile, and soda ash in Bakhmut. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the city developed a metal-working industry. By 1900, the city had 76 small industrial enterprises, which employed 1,078 workers, as well as four salt mines, which employed 874 workers.

By 1913, the population consisted of 28,000 people. There were two hospitals with 210 beds, four secondary and two vocational schools, six single-class schools, four parish schools, and a private library.

In April 1918 troops loyal to the Ukrainian People's Republic took control of Bakhmut.[11] On December 27, 1919, Soviet control over the city was established.

In 1923, there were 36 enterprises in Bakhmut, including a "Victory of Labor" factory that formerly made nails and spikes, a "Lightning" factory that produced castings for agriculture, as well as brick, tile, and alabaster factories, and one shoe factory. Local mines were renamed "Karl Liebknecht and Sverdlov", "Shevchenko", and "Bakhmut salt." From April 16, 1920, to August 1, 1925, Bakhmut was the administrative center of the Donetsk province.

In 1924 the city's name was changed from Bakhmut to Artemivsk, in honour of a Russian Bolshevik (Communist) revolutionary figure known as Artyom who lived and worked in the city in the early years of the revolution. In 1938, a man named Moskalenko was the First Secretary of the Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine in Artemivsk. In 1941, Vasily Panteleevich Prokopenko was First Secretary of the City Committee of the Communist Party.

During the Second World War, German troops occupied Artemivsk from October 31, 1941, to May 9, 1943. Nikolai Mikhailovich Zhorov was the secretary of the underground City Party Committee during occupation from 1941.

In early 1942 German Einsatzgruppe C took some 3,000 Jews from Artemivsk to a mine shaft two kilometres outside of town and shot into the crowd, killing several people and driving the rest into a tunnel. The soldiers then bricked up the entrance to the tunnel, suffocating the thousands of people trapped inside.[12]

In 1961, Kuzma Petrovich Golovko became First Secretary of the City Party Committee, followed by Ivan Malyukin in 1966, Nikolai S. Tagan in 1976, and Yuri K. Smirnov from 1980 to 1983. From April 1990 to 1994, during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Alexei Reva was Chairman of the Artemivsk City Council and was elected mayor in 1994, three years after Ukraine regained its independence.[13]

In January 1999, a charitable Jewish foundation in Bakhmut, the Artemivsk city council, and a winery that had opened on the site in 1952, inaugurated a memorial to commemorate the victims of the 1942 mass murder. The memorial was built into a rock face in the old mine where water collects and was named the "Wailing Wall" for the murdered Jews of Bakhmut.[12]

During the 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine, the pro-Russian separatists of the Donetsk People's Republic claimed the city of Artemivsk as part of their territory.[14][15] Ukrainian forces recaptured the city, along with Druzhkivka, on 7 July 2014.[16][17]

On 15 May 2015 President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko signed a bill into law that started a six-month period for the removal of communist monuments and the mandatory renaming of settlements with names related to Communism.[18] On 23 September 2015 the city council voted to restore the city's former name of Bakhmut.[19] The final decision was made by the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's national parliament) on 4 February 2016.[4][5]

Name changeEdit

  • 1571 - 1924 Bakhmut
  • 1924 - 1941 Artyomovsk / Artemivsk (Artemivsk until 1930s)
  • 1942 - 1943 Bakhmut[citation needed]
  • 1943 - 1992 Artyomovsk / Artemivsk
  • 1992 - 2016 Artemivsk
  • 2016–present Bakhmut

2022 Russian invasionEdit

In May 2022, Bakhmut became a frontline city, and is regularly shelled by the Russian army.[20][21][22] According to the Associated Press, "taking Bakhmut would rupture Ukraine’s supply lines and open a route for Russian forces to press on toward Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, key Ukrainian strongholds in Donetsk province."[23]

As of May, according to local authorities about 20,000 people remain in the city.[24]The Wagner mercenaries continued their advance on the city, bombarding the city daily.


Climate data for Bakhmut (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −0.9
Daily mean °C (°F) −4.0
Average low °C (°F) −6.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 44.9
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 9.0 7.8 8.3 7.0 7.0 8.7 7.0 4.6 6.8 5.4 7.5 8.9 88.0
Average relative humidity (%) 82.2 80.5 76.4 66.2 63.0 66.0 65.0 62.8 69.2 76.1 83.7 84.0 72.9
Source: World Meteorological Organization[25]


As of June 1, 2017, the population of Bakhmut was 75.9 thousand people.[26]

According to the Ukrainian Census of 2001, the majority of residents are ethnic Ukrainians and speak Russian as a first language:[27][28]

Ukrainians 69.4%
Russians 27.5%
Belarusians 0.6%
Armenians 0.3%
Roma 0.2%
Jews 0.2%
Russian 62%
Ukrainian 35%
Armenian 0.19%
Romani 0.15%
Belarusian 0.10%


Bakhmut Winery

Since 1951, the European Bakhmut Winery is located in the city. The Artyomsol salt mine is located in the suburb of Soledar, which contains the world's largest underground room. It is large enough that a hot air balloon has been floated inside, symphonies have been played before, and two professional football matches have been held at the same time. It is large enough to fit Notre Dame inside with room to spare.


Bakhmut-1 railway station

The highways of Kharkiv-Rostov and Donetsk-Kyiv run through Bakhmut. The towns of Chasiv Yar and Soledar are included in the Bakhmut municipality. The city has a public transport system consisting of a network of trolleybuses and buses.


There are 20 schools (11,600 students), 29 kindergartens (3500 children), 4 vocational schools (2,000 students), 2 technical schools (6,000 students), and several music schools. Some include:

  • Artemovsk Industrial College (Tchaikovsky Street)
  • Donetsk Musical College named John Karabits (Lermontov Street)
  • Donetsk Pedagogical School (St. Annunciation)
  • Donetsk Medical School (St. W. Nosakova)
  • Artemovsk professional school (St. Defence)

After the 2014 outbreak of the War in Donbas the Horlivka Institute for Foreign Languages was evacuated and is now operating in Bakhmut.[29]


  • Artemovsk City Center Children and Youth (Artema Street)
  • Artemovsk city center of culture and recreation (Svoboda)
  • Artemovsk City Folk House (Victory Street)
  • Building Technology "Donetskgeologiya" (St. Sibirtzev)
  • Palace of Culture "mechanician" (Artema Street)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Історична довідка: Сайт Бахмутської міської ради" [Historical reference: Bakhmut city council website]. Archived from the original on 2017-07-01. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  2. ^ (in Ukrainian) Keys to cities. What is the secret of longevity of mayors Archived 2021-11-11 at the Wayback Machine, The Ukrainian Week (10 August 2020)
  3. ^ a b Чисельність наявного населення України на 1 січня 2022 [Number of Present Population of Ukraine, as of January 1, 2022] (PDF) (in Ukrainian and English). Kyiv: State Statistics Service of Ukraine.
  4. ^ a b Decommunisation continues: Rada renames several towns and villages Archived 2022-06-11 at the Wayback Machine, UNIAN (4 February 2016)
  5. ^ a b "Rada de-communized Artemivsk as well as over hundred cities and villages" (in Ukrainian). Ukrayinska Pravda. 4 February 2016. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Харьковский историк считает, что название Бахмут имеет индоевропейские корни и происходит от слова бук". Громадський медіапортал Бахмут IN.UA. Retrieved 20 November 2022.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Artemivsk (Артемівськ) Archived 2013-04-07 at the Wayback Machine. The History of cities and villages of the Ukrainian SSR.
  8. ^ Rebellion of peasants and Cossacks under the leadership of Bulavin Archived 2012-04-03 at the Wayback Machine (in Russian)
  9. ^ "Інститут історії України НАН України" [Institute of History of Ukraine, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine]. Archived from the original on 9 February 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  10. ^ Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedia Dictionary (in Russian). 1903.
  11. ^ (in Ukrainian) 100 years ago Bakhmut and the rest of Donbas liberated Archived 2019-05-01 at the Wayback Machine, Ukrayinska Pravda (18 April 2018)
  12. ^ a b ""Wailing Wall" for the murdered Jews of Bakhmut: Remembrance". Information Portal to European Sites of Remembrance. Berlin, Germany: Stiftung Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas. Archived from the original on 2020-06-21. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  13. ^ A chronological list of events in the history of Artemovsk Archived 2008-10-30 at the Wayback Machine (in Russian)
  14. ^ Leonid Ragozin (16 April 2014). "Putin Is Accidentally Helping Unite Eastern and Western Ukraine - The New Republic". The New Republic. Archived from the original on 17 May 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  15. ^ "TASS: World - Donbass defenders put WWII tank back into service". TASS. Archived from the original on 21 October 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  16. ^ "BBC News - Ukraine crisis: Bridges destroyed outside Donetsk". BBC News. 7 July 2014. Archived from the original on 5 December 2018. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  17. ^ "Ukraine flag raised over two cities, military tells Poroshenko". Interfax-Ukraine. Archived from the original on 6 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  18. ^ Poroshenko signed the laws about decomunization Archived 2016-04-23 at the Wayback Machine. Ukrayinska Pravda. 15 May 2015
    Poroshenko signs laws on denouncing Communist, Nazi regimes Archived 2016-08-19 at the Wayback Machine, Interfax-Ukraine. 15 May 20
    Goodbye, Lenin: Ukraine moves to ban communist symbols Archived 2016-03-07 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News (14 April 2015)
  19. ^ Renaming city and streets. Artemivsk city council website. 23 September 2015
  20. ^ "Inside a Ukraine hospital where medics work as rockets fall". Reuters. 11 May 2022. Archived from the original on 2022-08-16. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  21. ^ "In Ukraine's Bakhmut, war is never far away". France24. 12 July 2022. Archived from the original on 15 August 2022. Retrieved 23 August 2022.
  22. ^ "Murals bring hope in Ukrainian city under Russian attack". Reuters. 15 August 2022. Archived from the original on 2022-08-28. Retrieved 2022-08-23.
  23. ^ VARENYTSIA, INNA and SAM MEDNICK (28 October 2022). "Russia's hope for Ukraine win revealed in battle for Bakhmut". AP News. Associated Press. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  24. ^ "російські загарбники завдали авіаудару по Бахмуту" [Russian invaders carried out an airstrike on Bakhmut] (in Ukrainian). Укрінформ. 2022-05-19.
  25. ^ "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1981–2010". World Meteorological Organization. Archived from the original on 17 July 2021. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  26. ^ "Количество жителей Бахмута продолжает сокращаться" Archived 2018-05-05 at the Wayback Machine (tr. ""The number of Bakhmut residents continues to decline"") Vecherniy Bakhmut, September 5, 2017
  27. ^ Національний склад та рідна мова населення Донецької області. Розподіл постійного населення за найбільш численними національностями та рідною мовою по міськрадах та районах. (tr. "National composition and native language of the population of Donetsk region. Distribution of the permanent population by the most numerous nationalities and native language by city councils and districts.")
  28. ^ "". Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  29. ^ (in Ukrainian) How did the innovations work for entrants from ORDiLO and Crimea Archived 2021-01-21 at the Wayback Machine, The Ukrainian Week (30 September 2020)

External linksEdit