Yuri Shevchuk, frontman with anarchic rock act DDT, has accused the Kremlin of being behind the cancellation of the band’s shows in Kemerovo, Omsk and Tyumen.

Shevchuk is well known for criticising the government and took part in last winter’s street protests. In 2010 he publicly challenged Russian leader Vladimir Putin over social inequality and the way the country cracks down on even the most peaceful protest rallies.

He believes Moscow-based officials leaned on the venues to pull out of the DDT shows.

“These cunning bureaucrats gave their orders via telephone, which makes it almost impossible for us to sue them,” he said in a statement.

The act has previously played venues as big as Moscow’s 80,000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium, and it’s likely the Siberian shows would have sold out.

The Russian authorities have denied any role in canceling the shows.

The owner of the Kemerovo Arena told state news agency RIA Novosti that it had to cancel the show because the firm that organized DDT’s concerts is not well known in the market.

The act was formed in 1980 and is no stranger to political controversy. In 1984, some members of the group began to be watched and contacted by the KGB and their music was banned, making them even more popular among youngsters growing up in the old Soviet Union.