RUSSIA has probably lost around a third of the ground forces it deployed to Ukraine and its offensive in the Donbas region “has lost momentum and fallen significantly behind schedule”, British military intelligence said on Sunday (15).

“Despite small-scale initial advances, Russia has failed to achieve substantial territorial gains over the past month whilst sustaining consistently high levels of attrition,” the British defence 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 unlikely to dramatically accelerate its rate of advance over the next 30 days.

Since Russia’s invasion on February 24, Ukraine’s military has forced Russia’s commanders to abandon an advance on the capital Kyiv, before making rapid gains in the northeast and driving them away from the second biggest city of Kharkiv.

A Ukrainian counteroffensive has been underway near the Russian-held town of Izium, though Ukraine’s military reported on Sunday that Russian forces were advancing elsewhere in the Donbas region, the main theatre of war over the past month.

Ukrainians embrace tattoos

From odes to embattled military units to expressions of love for the motherland, Ukrainians are embracing tattoos amid the ongoing war with Russia.

At the “Art Weapon” festival, dozens chose to show their love for their nation by getting inked, with payments for the tattoos going straight to the Ukrainian military as donations.

The event took place at an abandoned Soviet-era factory on Saturday (14), where droning electronica clashed with crunchy garage rock and the buzzing sound of tattoo needles.

A 20-year-old soldier, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was getting inked for the first time.

His new tattoo was dedicated to Ukraine’s Azov regiment and the group’s fighters — many of whom are under attack at a steel plant in the besieged port city of Mariupol, including two of his friends.

“It’s very difficult for me, but I can’t imagine what they feel,” he said as he prepared to go under the needle. “They told me they will stand for Ukraine until they die.”

(Agencies)