Please read Kamil Galeev. There’s no better-informed analyst on Russia at this point. Also, please remember that an analyst who isn’t a native speaker of the language is worthless. You have to be part of the cultural space to have any insight worth hearing.
Galeev makes a crucial point in the linked thread that everybody who is part of the cultural space knows and understands but that is practically unknown outside of it. Russians feel extremely humiliated by the fact that “stupid Americans” have a higher standard of living and are more important internationally in every way. Culturally, linguistically, politically, economically, militarily, you name it. They know they are superior but nothing in the surrounding reality reflects that superiority. This is the narcissistic injury I keep talking about. It always generates a lot of rage, both in our private lives and collectively.
Back in the early 1990s, one of the most popular stand-up comedians in Russia changed his whole comedy routine to talking exclusively about idiot Americans who were complete morons compared to Russians. There is no Russian-speaker who was alive then who hasn’t heard his comedy routines. And this is one thing in a million. There are books, movies, TV series, etc, all on this one endlessly fascinating subject. This sense of superiority is very seductive and at this point in time it’s deeply ingrained. I shared before how I bought into it, too, 20 years ago.
Have you ever been passed over at work or in dating life for people who were clearly less qualified / intelligent / good-looking, etc? How did that feel? Now imagine feeling like that on an existential level. Imagine always feeling like that. How long until the pain and the sense of injustice become unbearable? Maybe you personally have mechanisms that help you deal with it with peace and dignity. But many people don’t.