Donbass: Battle of Debaltseve
The quickest route to drive from Lugansk to Donetsk is the highway through Debaltseve. That means taking over this city would cut the rebellious regions off from each other and create a gap where there would always be the threat of concentrated troops ready for a breakthrough.
When Ukrainian government forces were tasked with subduing the Donbass region in the summer of 2014, Debaltseve became a central strategic point. Gaining control over it was important to both sides. The militia defended the territory, desperately trying to maintain the link between the two rebel capitals.