I think that much of the problem is of the West's making. It's that same smug superiority that I detected from the American broadcasters during the Olympics. Russians are a proud people with plenty of history and culture to be proud of. (And some things to be less proud of, but don't we all.)
Shortly after the end of the Olympics, Russia started making its play for Crimea. I saw expert after expert say that Russia didn't really want to posses Crimea. They just wanted to make sure that they had continued access to their military bases there and that Ukraine didn't get too cozy with the West. We now know that all of that analysis was wrong. They have "accepted" Crimea into the Russian Federation.
At the time, I noticed something interesting in my blog stats here. In the past, there has been a significant amount of traffic from Russia. Usually, it was second below the US. It's not that I thought my content was so attractive to Russians. I figured that it was mostly bots and hackers, etc., but still. When all this stuff in the Crimea started happening, all the Russian traffic went away. I suppose that the Russian government is blocking sites in the US (and perhaps Western Europe, too).
So now, the Russian agitation has stepped up in Eastern Ukraine. Once again, Putin has said that he's not interested in taking over anything, but he'll "protect" ethnic Russians (or Russian speakers). I still haven't figured out what he would be protecting them from. It seems that the ethnic Russians are causing all the ruckus, even if they've had to be imported from Russia proper. Once again the analysts are staying that Putin/Russia is not interested in taking more territory for Russia. Just doesn't want undue Western influence.
I don't know if they are right or wrong about Eastern Ukraine. Maybe the analysts were really right in Crimea, but the ethnic Russians didn't get with Putin's program. After the vote, he had hardly any choice than to accept them into the Russian Federation once they asked for it.
I do know this. People in Russia are still not visiting my blog. It's still being blocked. Think about that.