Watch: View of Kremlin as Russia’s presidential election gets underway

Watch a view outside the Kremlin in Moscow as voting starts in Russia’s presidential election in a ballot that is held across three days.

The sham election is widely expected to confirm Vladimir Putin’s fifth term of presidency, set to last for at least another six years.

It is a stage-managed vote that will take place in parts of Ukraine now controlled by Russian forces.

Russian politics professor Samuel Greene, of King’s College London, explained that all parties are vetted by the Kremlin in an illegal process separate to the Central Election Commission.

“All parties that are able to function in Russia are coordinated by the presidential administration. Candidate lists are vetted by the Kremlin; fundraising is both limited and enabled by the Kremlin,” he told The Independent.

Citizens will choose between four candidates, including Mr Putin, between 15 and 17 March.

Russia’s population is around 143.4 million. 112.3 million people have the right to vote in the election and around 70-80 million people usually cast ballots.

Putin, 71, faces little competition; his opponents are either in jail or in exile abroad, and the most prominent - Alexei Navalny - died in a remote Arctic penal colony last month.

Three other candidates are low-profile politicians from token opposition parties that abide by the Kremlin’s line.