Ukraine demands speedier weapons deliveries from West to confront Russian pressure

By Herbert Villarrga and Tom Balmforth DNIPRO, Ukraine/KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine insisted on the need for faster supplies of weapons from the West with the central city

of Dnipro reeling from a Russian missile strike that killed at least 40 people in an apartment block and Ukrainian troops came under increased pressure on the eastern

front. In its Monday evening update, Ukraine's army General Staff said Russian artillery pounded around 25 towns and villages around Bakhmut and Avdiika, the two focal

points of Russian attempts to advance in the strategic eastern industrial Donbas region. It said Russia also kept up shelling of over 30 settlements in the northeast

Kharkiv and Sumy areas near the Russian border. In the south, Russian mortar and artillery fire hit several towns, including the regional capital Kherson, which Russian forces

abandoned in November.   Reuters was not able to verify battlefield reports. The death toll from Saturday's missile strike in Dnipro rose to 40, including three

children, Ukrainian officials said. They said 25 people were missing or unaccounted for but 39 people, including six children, were rescued from the rubble. "What happened

in Dnipro, the fact that Russia is preparing new attempts to seize the initiative in the war, the fact that the nature of military action at the front requires new decisions on

arms supplies - only underscores how important it is to coordinate all the efforts of the coalition defending Ukraine and freedom," President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his

Monday night video address. "And to speed up decision-making."