Poor Vladimir Putin. It must be tough to spend your career working for the KGB, the iron fist of a truly evil empire, only to see it all evaporate.
Most of the vassel states fled as soon as they were able, anxious to escape the clutches of the Soviet Union and join the liberal democracies. There was bound to be nostalgia, a backlash, and a yearning for the good ol’ days on the part of a minority in Russia. Putin is one of them, but his military is a shadow of Soviet might, and he can threaten only the “near abroad”, the former inmates, like Ukraine, of the now dead Soviet Union. Ukraine must be saved, and Putin stopped, but Russia has no idealogy attractive to developing countries, no real allies, and no future as an empire.