In the recent past, Putin’s Russia was moving up in the world’s opinion by leaps and bounds. The West was willing to overlook its dreadful human rights and press freedom record, since the country seemed to be moving in the right direction. Putin’s participation in brokering a nonmilitary solution for Syria earned him the status of a perceived peacemaker. Successful Olympic games, a Nobel Peace Prize nomination, being declared the world’s most powerful person – Putin was riding high.
Then came the popular revolution in Ukraine and Putin’s mask fell off with a thud.