or, rather, I can understand where he is coming from.
He watched well-intentioned men dismantle
a no-longer-viable USSR and try to create
first a viable Commonwealth of Independent States (which fell apart)
and then a Russian Federation with a decent constitution and a parliament.
He watched evil men from within the former USSR
and from "The West" appear like vultures
(or like bomb disposal squads) to bring Russia
economically to its knees.
He then watched "The West" enter into illegal wars or "interventions" against Serbia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya,
knowing that it was Stalin who insisted in 1945
that undeclared war (like political assassination by agents of one state against another, as Israel is wont to do)
was henceforth an International Crime.
And so he decided to Make Russia Great Again
by hook and by crook and by intervention.
SRSV : Сделать Россию Cнова Bеликой
After a bloody success in Chechnya he lopped a chunk
off Georgia. Then he lopped Crimea (deemed to be Ukrainian
only in 1954, by a minority of the Soviet Præsidium)
and south-eastern borderlands from Ukraine.
Finally, he ordered another "intervention" in Ukraine, which, so far, has not gone well - but has to his glee disrupted the whole capitalist house of cards on which he and the Russian Federation and almost the whole world unfortunately rely.
But Mr Putin has not 'gone mad'. He is no worse than many bitter dictators. He is not as bad as Stalin, not as bad as Hitler, not yet as disastrous as Napoleon.
He may be a very unpleasant puritan and nationalist Russian autocrat in the Tsarist tradition, but he has a long-term global view, and that view - any long-term view - is unAmerican.