The former hate his guts and creating a middle class is not what you want to do when you’re an autocrat.
Putin gets most of his support from small town and rural Russia.
Putin started out a liberal and fell back on Russian nationalism because that was the most effective means of mobilizing support for him and his policies.
But should the economy turn south, the mass street protests could reignite and his days in power could be numbered.
That’s just it, people want to think he’s Hitler, when in reality his grip on power is much more tenuous than most people realize.
In fact, one could look at this as similar to Galtieri invading the Falklands, sure temporarily it caused all Argies to rally around him, and even if the Argies prevailed, eventually the novelty would wear off when the economy raised its ugly head.
Of course, Putin doesn’t have to deal with a Thatcher, like Galtieri did.