The mask of a masked singer who recently appeared on Russian television was a symbol for Putin’s new “power,” Russian news agency Interfax reported on Friday.
The singer, Cady Groves, posted a video on Instagram that showed him performing in front of the Kremlin on Tuesday.
Groves appeared on camera wearing a mask and was seen on camera singing the country’s national anthem.
The masked singer also wore a mask, as did another singer in the video, who also appeared to sing the anthem, Interfax said.
Groves’ stunt was an attempt to bring attention to the Russian government’s efforts to crack down on opposition protests that began in November.
Putin has long sought to stamp out any dissent in Russia and has ordered the government to block social media sites, as well as news outlets and Internet service providers, that are critical of him.
Grooves’ performance on Tuesday marked the first time the Russian leader wore a “mask,” according to Interfax.
Grooves was arrested in November in the southern city of Vladivostok on charges of incitement to subvert state power.
Groades’ arrest sparked widespread protests and led to the ouster of his own prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, and the imprisonment of hundreds of political opponents.
He was freed in February on a promise to appear in court for a trial.
Groises has not spoken publicly about the incident since his release.
The singer, whose real name is Yevgeny Zavtrav, told Interfax that he planned to continue his political activism, though he did not specify what kind of political activism.
He said he was planning to work on social media to raise awareness about his case.