As additional victims are discovered in the wreckage of one of the bloodiest assaults since Russia's invasion of Ukraine got underway 11 months ago, the death toll from a catastrophic missile strike in Dnipro has increased.

On Monday, locals came to witness cranes take apart the Soviet-style apartment complex that had been blasted apart by the strike in central Ukraine two days before.

Emergency services in Ukraine said that 34 people were still missing and that 40 individuals, including three children, had died away.

Kyiv accused Moscow of being behind the strike, but the Kremlin denied that Russian troops were a fault and cited an unproven hypothesis going around on social media that Ukrainian air defense systems were to blame for the damage.

"Residential structures or social infrastructure are not attacked by the Russian military. The Kremlin's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, said that the Ukrainian air defenses diverted a Russian missile because "they hit military objectives."

Russian President Vladimir Putin's "cowardly silence" over the incident was denounced by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy late on Sunday. However, by Monday afternoon, it looked unlikely that any other survivors would be discovered.

As Russia and its close ally Belarus conducted combined military training, the cost of the attack increased.

One of the few nations that have unwaveringly backed Russia throughout the war, Belarus let Moscow's military begin their assault from Belarusian soil in February.

The air force drills, according to Belarus's defense ministry, will include combined "tactical" flights from all of the country's airfields.

According to comments made by Pavel Muraveyko, first deputy state secretary of the Belarusian Security Council, made public on Sunday by the defense ministry, "the exercise is entirely defensive in character."

The exercises "will focus especially on patrols and supplies during operations," Al Jazeera's Ali Hashem reported from Moscow.

The viewpoint that is often stated anytime this subject of the exercises is brought up is that they have been classified as defensive drills, not offensive ones, Hashem said.

But there are numerous questions about the role Belarus is playing in the conflict and if this will have an effect, the speaker added.

Rafael Grossi, the head of the UN's nuclear watchdog, was scheduled to arrive in Ukraine on Monday to send observation teams to all of the nation's nuclear power facilities. Throughout Russia's invasion, safeguarding and securing nuclear installations has been a top priority.

He said on Twitter, "I'm honored to lead this mission to Ukraine, where we're deploying in all of the country's NPPs to support nuclear safety and security."

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht resigned on Monday after months of criticism for Berlin's hesitant reaction to the crisis in Ukraine, which is another indication that the conflict is having an impact far beyond Ukraine.

Ukraine is asking its Western supporters to provide its military with additional tanks, especially the German-designed Leopard type, as the almost year-long conflict goes on.

This past weekend, Britain committed 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine, making it the first Western nation to provide the heavier tanks Kyiv has requested.

They would not significantly affect Ukraine's combat effort, according to Peskov.

The Kremlin spokesperson said, "These tanks are blazing and will burn."

In an interview with German media on Sunday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that "recent commitments for heavy military weaponry are crucial - and I anticipate more shortly."

On Monday, the prime minister of Poland asked Berlin to provide a variety of armaments to Kyiv and expressed optimism that Berlin would soon give the go-ahead for the transfer of combat tanks.

After months of humiliating military setbacks, the Institute for the Study of Conflict, a think tank in Washington, DC, highlighted indications that the Kremlin was attempting to transform the invasion into "a major conventional war."

A robust Ukrainian counteroffensive in recent months has driven Russia out of several captured regions.

In a paper released late Sunday, the institution said that "the Kremlin is probably prepared to launch a dramatic strategic maneuver in the next six months meant to retake the initiative and stop Ukraine's recent streak of operational achievements."

It was highlighted that indications suggested the Russian military leadership was making "serious preparations" for an increased mobilization effort, reorganizing its command structure, and preserving mobilized soldiers for use in the future.

According to the think group, this implies Ukraine's Western partners "will need to continue helping Ukraine in the long term."

Separately, Ukrainian authorities said on Monday that Russian soldiers were still shelling the southern city of Kherson, which their country reclaimed in the latter part of last year.

Russian soldiers attacked a residential structure, killing one lady, according to governor Yaroslav Yanushevych. They also destroyed an abandoned children's hospital.

The Moscow-appointed officer in charge of the military city Sevastopol in Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula that Russia invaded in 2014, said that Russian troops shot down seven drones in 24 hours.