In politics, there’s rhetoric, and there’s reality. Let’s leave aside the former for the moment and concentrate on the latter. Forget what Putin says and look at what he actually does.
1. An enormous point of contention between him and the nationalists has always been his concerted and relentless effort to erode the border between Russia and its Eastern neighbors. He brought in an enormous number of easily exploitable workers from places like Tajikistan*. He’s refusing to institute visa requirements for them, which drives the nationalists up a wall in rage. He instituted jail sentences for “hate speech” that questions this arrangement.
2. Putin’s only real, actual, effectively protesting opposition aside from the nationalists has been organized labor. Putin is very actively repressing organized labor to serve the interests of the fluid financial elites.
3. In foreign policy, he’s extremely hawkish, believing that it’s Russia’s role to control – by military means if necessary – the state-building initiatives of other countries.
4. His best friends are members of the supranational financial elites who often are not even citizens of Russia and don’t reside in Russia.
5. Another thing that nationalists detest him for is his constant effort to eradicate the word “Russian” (русский) in favor of “citizen of the Russian Federation” (россиянин).
6. Yet another complaint of the nationalists is that because of his immigration policies half of the children coming to the first grade of public schools in Moscow don’t speak Russian. There is no attempt to address the ethnic enclaves that are growing in Moscow and that are linguistically and culturally walled off from everybody else.
I’ll let you figure out on your own what or who all this reminds you of.
* Hence the reference to Tajikistan in the previous post that describes a game invented by Russian-speakers.