Original source: Russian communist leader Gennady Zyuganov slammed local elections on Sunday as ‘the dirtiest in the last 15 years’ after the ruling United Russia Party won an average 66 per cent of votes.

The Communist Party of the Russian Federation came in a distant second place.

It is as yet unclear whether the pro-Kremlin Liberal Democrats or Fair Russia came third.

Oleg Morozov, one of United Russia’s leaders, claimed that the vote had demonstrated the voters’ approval of Moscow’s efforts to tackle the economic crisis.

But Russia’s only independent election monitoring organisation Golos alleged ‘mass violations’ in several regions.

The greatest number of complaints came from Tatarstan, where United Russia garnered 80 per cent of the vote.

‘There have never been such dirty and unforgivable elections,’ Mr Zyuganov stormed, claiming that authorities in Tatarstan had prevented the Communist Party from running political broadcasts.

He also alleged that Communist MPs had been intimidated in the industrial region of Bryanskhe and that he had been barred from addressing a meeting there.

The CPRF did score one victory over Mr Putin’s party, garnering nearly 50 per cent of the vote in the election of a city legislature in Tver.