an upland in the south of the Eastern European Plain on the border between the Ukrainian SSR and the RSFSR. It stretches from the northwest to the southeast and measures about 370 km long. Its width varies from 50 km in the east to 120 km in the west. It ends in a steep scarp (up to 150-200 m) that leads to the valley of the Severskii Donets.
The ridge is composed primarily of strata of carboniferous sandstones, limestones, and slates associated with rich deposits of coal. The highest point measures 367 m (Mount Mogila-Mechetnaia). The relief is characterized by a combi-nation of undulating interfluves and deeply cut (up to 100-150 m) river valleys. In places the surface of the interfluves is complicated by residual domes, “tombs” (Saur-Mogila), ridges (Nagol’nii Ridge), and crests. Gully erosion is intensively manifested, and karst relief forms are found. There are deposits of polymetallic ores, building materials, and chemical raw materials. The climate is moderately continental. The average January temperature varies from -6° to -8°C, and the average July temperature is 21°-22°C. Annual precipitation totals 400-550 mm. The mantle of soil is predominantly leached and podzolized chernozems, with dark gray forest soils in the higher regions and meadow chernozems in the river valleys. The arable land is used for grain crops (wheat and corn), orchards, and vegetable crops. In some places patches of forest (oak, ash, and maple) and steppe vegetation have been preserved. A major industrial region of the country, which has arisen on the basis of the Donets Coal Basin, is located on the Donets Ridge.