Russia has lost approximately a third of the ground forces it sent to Ukraine, and its offensive in the Donbas region “has lost momentum and fallen significantly behind schedule,” British military intelligence said on Sunday. [tweet_embed] May 18, 2022[/tweet_embed] “Despite small-scale initial advances, Russia has failed to achieve substantial territorial gains over the past month while sustaining consistently high levels of attrition,” the British defense ministry said on Twitter. “Russia has now likely suffered losses of one third of the ground combat force it committed in February.” It said Russia was improbable to severely ramp up its attack rate over the next 30 days. Since Russia’s invasion on February 24, Ukraine’s military has forced Russia’s commanders to leave an advance on the capital Kyiv before making rapid gains in the northeast and pushing them away from the second biggest city of Kharkiv. [tweet_embed] May 18, 2022[/tweet_embed] A Ukrainian counteroffensive has been underway near the Russian-held town of Izium. However, Ukraine’s military reported that Russian forces were moving elsewhere in the Donbas region, the main theater of war over the past month. The front lines in Ukraine had shifted on Sunday as Russia made advances in the fiercely contested eastern Donbas region, and Ukraine’s military commenced a counteroffensive near the strategic Russian-held city of Izium. Near the northeastern city of Kharkiv, where Ukrainian forces have been on the attack since early this month, commanders said they believed Russia had been withdrawing troops to reinforce positions around Izium to the south. Ukraine has achieved a series of successes since Russia invaded on February 24, forcing Russia’s commanders to abandon an advance on the capital Kyiv and then making rapid gains to drive them from Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-biggest city. Moscow’s attack, which it calls a “special operation” to take over Ukraine and protect it from fascists, has jolted European security. Kyiv and its Western allies say the fascism assertion is a groundless pretext for an unprovoked war of aggression. The President of Finland, which shares a 1,300 km (800 mile) border with Russia, confirmed on Sunday that his country would petition to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a significant policy shift prompted by Russia’s invasion. NATO’s deputy secretary-general said he was confident Finland and Sweden, which are also expected to confirm their willingness to join, could be swiftly admitted to the alliance and that concerns raised by Turkey could be overcome. [tweet_embed] May 18, 2022[/tweet_embed] Since mid-April, Russian forces have concentrated much of their firepower on trying to capture two provinces known as the Donbas after failing to take Kyiv. On Saturday night, Ukraine received a morale boost with victory in the Eurovision Song Contest, a triumph seen as a sign of the strength of popular support for Ukraine across Europe.