In the Donbas and the Kharkiv regions, up to two-thirds of the land is used for agriculture, according to Diadin. Clusters of trees around farms in northern Donetsk provide cover for Ukrainian forces armed with antitank weapons such as Javelins and NLAWs to ambush Russian convoys, Clark said. Ukrainians have also mined some of the land to funnel Russian forces onto the roads, where they are easier to target, according to Michael Kofman, director of the Russia studies program at CNA, a nonprofit research and analysis organization in Arlington, Va.
Conquering Donbas, Kofman said, will require that Russia take three key cities: Slovyansk, Kramatorsk and Severodonetsk. “They’re small cities, but they’re cities nonetheless — and they’re not tank country,” he said. That means urban warfare, a Russian weakness.
The cities are near the boundary between Donetsk and Luhansk, close to the Donets River.
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