The vast city, especially when flattened, replaces the forest as a convenient environment for the resistance of guerrillas against huge numbers of organized and advanced raiding forces.
This kind of forest is spreading all over the world. In fact, this is what greatly contributed to the victory of the Chechens who, just like they mastered the art of forest warfare in the 18th and 19th centuries, were masters of the art of urban fighting in the 19th century. Compared to the forest which loses effectiveness once its trees are cut, the effectiveness of the city not only persists, but also increases the more flattened it gets, thus posing more danger to the raiding forces.
Some of the excuses the Russian leadership used to justify their losses in Grozny was that the Russian intelligence didn’t provide them with updated maps of the city. This is the case in most cities of the third world countries as most of their maps are either too old or unrealistic. The cities would also be surrounded by random cities with high growth rate which do not show on the maps. In many cases, their streets don’t even have names. Besides the many same possibilities the new urban forest provides as the old natural one in terms of opportunities for sniping, mines, boobytraps and ambushes, it also negates the enemy’s superiority in cavalry, armour, airpower and artillery and contributes to enhancing the defensive force of the guerrillas.
– Chechniya: Tombstone of Russian Power by Anatol Lieven(Page 113-114)