By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s daily coronavirus death toll has hit a new record amid the country’s sluggish vaccination rate and the government’s reluctance to tighten restrictions. Russia’s state coronavirus task force reported 936 new deaths on Friday, the third straight day when daily COVID-19 deaths topped 900. Russia already has Europe’s highest death toll in the pandemic — more than 214,000 — and the authorities’ conservative way of recording COVID-19 fatalities suggests the actual number could be even higher. A steep rise in infections and deaths began in late September, with authorities blaming it on the low vaccination rate. But the Kremlin has shrugged off the idea of imposing a new nationwide lockdown, delegating the power to tighten restrictions to regional authorities.