Watch live: Russian officials announce preliminary results of sham election

Watch live as the head of Russia’s Central Election Commission announces preliminary results of the country’s sham presidential election held over 15-17 March.

The election saw Vladimir Putin tighten his grip on power following the stifling of any real opposition after early results on Sunday showed Mr Putin won nearly 88 per cent of the vote, marking a record for him by extending his nearly quarter-of-a-century rule for another six-year term.

Defence secretary Grant Shapps has accused the Russian leader of behaving like “a modern-day Stalin” and foreign secretary David Cameron described the election as not “free and fair”.

Mr Putin faced competition from just three candidates who toed the Kremlin line by not criticised his rule nor his invasion of Ukraine, and his main rival Alexei Navalny died in an Arctic penal colony last month.

Other critics are either in jail or in exile.

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