Is this the real reason Russia is trying to seize Bakhmut from Ukraine?

Bakhmut is not of immense strategic importance. It’s a backwater, empty of almost all civilian life, and largely in ruins. But the city is where Ukraine’s war of self-defence has been at its most intense for months.  The defenders are suffering, under a hail of artillery fire and under constant threat of attack. But the Russians are losing more. Almost daily, it seems, Putin’s forces advance without cover across a moonscape torn with shell-holes. They are cut down in their tens every time. The front line has barely moved in weeks. Russian bodies, uncollected in the cold, litter the surrounding fields.   To Ukrainians and their allies, these suicidal attacks are no longer simply foolish. They