MOSCOW, March 17 (UPI) -- It looks like the bromance between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump may be slowing to a simmer after the Kremlin attacked the front-runner's use of Putin in a political ad.
The Kremlin said it does not like Trump's use of Putin's image in political ads and decried the "demonization" of the country.
"It is common knowledge that demonization of Russia -- let me put it this way -- and everything related with it is regrettably a mandatory attribute of the U.S. election campaign," Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. "We always regret this. We would like election processes to proceed without such allusions to our country."
The statement comes hours after the Trump campaign released a short video featuring Putin demonstrating martial arts and a masked militant pointing a gun at the camera. A clip of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton barking like a dog comes with the text, "When it comes to facing our toughest opponents, the Democrats have the perfect answer."
Putin is seen laughing as the text, "We don't need to be a punchline!" appears in a final frame.
Trump's ad is a far cry from the budding bromance between the two men just months ago. In December, Putin hailed Trump as a "really brilliant and talented person" during an annual press conference, saying he welcomed Trump's suggestion for "a new, more substantial relationship, a deeper relationship with Russia."
Trump responded by calling Putin a "strong leader" who has "actually got a popularity within his country. They respect him as a leader."