Small wins buoy Ukraine; West says Russians losing momentum

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – Almost three months after Russia invaded Ukraine, its military faces a bogged-down war, the prospect of a bigger NATO and an opponent buoyed by its wins on and off the battlefield.

On the diplomatic front, Finland announced Sunday that it would seek NATO membership. Sweden’s governing party also endorsed the idea of applying to join the alliance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has cited NATO’s post-Cold War expansion in Eastern Europe and the prospect of Ukraine joining the alliance among the reasons for the invasion.

On the battlefield, Russian forces failed to make territorial gains in eastern Ukraine. Western military officials say the Kremlin’s campaign in eastern Ukraine has lost momentum.