A nurse fills a syringe with a dose of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine in the Gorelskaya outpatient clinic of the Tambov Central District Hospital in Russia. Only 29% of Russia's population is vaccinated. Photo: AFP / Alexey Suhorukov / Sputnik

Russia on Tuesday recorded its highest daily coronavirus death toll as cases linked to the Delta variant spike amid a lackluster vaccination drive and few anti-virus restrictions.

A government tally reported 895 fatalities over the past 24 hours, a record in Russia since the start of the pandemic.

The new figure brings total deaths from Covid-19 to 211,696 – the highest in Europe.

Authorities have been accused of playing down the severity of the outbreak.

The surging infections have come without any real pandemic restrictions to limit the spread.

Russia, the world’s fifth worst-hit country with more than seven million infections, has seen cases climb as vaccinations stall.

Moscow, the epicenter of Russia’s outbreak, has experienced a spike over the past few weeks, with officials warning of rising hospital admissions.

Authorities say that the highly contagious Delta variant now accounts for all of the cases in the Russian capital.

Free jabs have been available since early December, but authorities have struggled to convince a vaccine-skeptic population to get immunized.

Independent polling shows that more than half of Russians do not plan on getting a shot.

As of Tuesday, only 29% of the population had been fully vaccinated, according to the Gogov website, which tallies Covid data from the regions.

Under a broader definition for deaths linked to the coronavirus, statistics agency Rosstat reported in August that Russia had seen more than 350,000 fatalities.