WARING: GRAPHIC VIDEO

A Russian man was arrested and hospitalised after stripping naked and then nailing his testicles to a cobblestone in Red Square. The performance artist, Pyotr Pavlensky, carried out the act in protest at what he described in a statement as Russia’s descent into a "police state".

Writing on the grani.ru website, Pavlensky said: "A naked artist, looking at his balls nailed to the Kremlin pavement, is a metaphor for the apathy, political indifference, and fatalism of contemporary Russian society."

The act of self-mutilation took place close to Lenin’s mausoleum in the centre of Moscow’s iconic square. According to AFP, 29-year-old Pavlensky has carried out similar acts in the past, including sewing his lips together in demonstration against the jailing of two members of Pussy Riot, and wrapping his body in barb wire outside a government building.

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  • Russian ultra-nationalists shout slogans during a protest in the Biryulyovo district of Moscow, late on October 13, 2013. Moscow police were on October 14, 2013 holding almost 400 people under arrest after the Russian capital was rocked by some of its worst ethnically-fuelled rioting in years, sparked by the killing of an ethnic Russian allegedly by a Muslim migrant from the Caucasus. An initially peaceful protest in the Biryulyovo district of Moscow to protest the killing of Yegor Shcherbakov, 25, rapidly descended into bloody clashes with the police that left the glass doors of a shopping centre smashed and cars upturned. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A police officer guards a vandalised street, the site of mass rioting in the southern Biryulyovo district of Moscow, late on October 13, 2013. Mass rioting broken out today in a southern Moscow district after a mixed crowd of nationalists and locals attacked a warehouse run by migrants and natives of the Caucasus. The riot was prompted by the fatal stabbing of an ethnic Russian in the area. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Police officers guard a vandalised street, the site of mass rioting in the southern Biryulyovo district of Moscow, late on October 13, 2013. Mass rioting broken out today in a southern Moscow district after a mixed crowd of nationalists and locals attacked a warehouse run by migrants and natives of the Caucasus. The riot was prompted by the fatal stabbing of an ethnic Russian in the area. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • OMON, riot police, officers search a man detained during mass rioting in the southern Biryulyovo district of Moscow, late on October 13, 2013. Mass rioting broken out today in a southern Moscow district after a mixed crowd of nationalists and locals attacked a warehouse run by migrants and natives of the Caucasus. The riot was prompted by the fatal stabbing of an ethnic Russian in the area. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • OMON, riot police, officers escort a man detained during mass rioting in the southern Biryulyovo district of Moscow, late on October 13, 2013. Mass rioting broken out today in a southern Moscow district after a mixed crowd of nationalists and locals attacked a warehouse run by migrants and natives of the Caucasus. The riot was prompted by the fatal stabbing of an ethnic Russian in the area. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • People clash with OMON, riot police, officers during mass rioting in the southern Biryulyovo district of Moscow, on October 13, 2013. Thousands rioted today in Moscow, bashing in the doors and windows of a shopping centre and beating up security guards in a nationalist protest sparked by a murder blamed on a migrant. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Young men walk past OMON, riot police, officers cordoning of a street during mass rioting in the southern Biryulyovo district of Moscow, late on October 13, 2013. Mass rioting broken out today in a southern Moscow district after a mixed crowd of nationalists and locals attacked a warehouse run by migrants and natives of the Caucasus. The riot was prompted by the fatal stabbing of an ethnic Russian in the area. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • People shout and gesture during mass rioting in the southern Biryulyovo district of Moscow, on October 13, 2013. Mass rioting broken out today in a southern Moscow district after a mixed crowd of nationalists and locals attacked a warehouse run by migrants and natives of the Caucasus. The riot was prompted by the fatal stabbing of an ethnic Russian in the area. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Russian riot policemen block a street during an unauthorized rally in Moscow's Biryulevo Zapadnoye district on October 13, 2013, to demand justice after local resident Yegor Shcherbakov was murdered. Some 200 people have been arrested for violating public order, a representative of the Interior Ministry directorate for Moscow told Interfax agency. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)