According to philosopher Jason Stanley, who wrote the book How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them, Russian fascism, is different from German fascism which wanted to install Germans as dominating the world. Putin is about traditional ethno-nationalists dominating each of their countries with a strong powerful masculine leader. The leader might be a woman of course, like Marine Le Pen had she won the French national election in 2022. Usually the strong leader though is a man—like Putin—i.e. a traditional male bully.
Stanley says the job of the fascist leader is always about “protecting traditional values against democracy.” The fascist parties therefor must show that they are not corrupt decadent and weak like western democracies. That is what Putin believes and fosters. The strength of the bully. This is what Putin has claimed to be doing in both the 2014 and 2022 wars in Ukraine.
Putin is not alone either. For example, the United States has had such anti-democratic leader too—I.e. Donald Trump. To resist, the democracies must show that they are strong. They can be strong, but they must show it now that they are under attack from anti-democratic forces. We will see if they are strong enough.
So far Ukraine has showed it is strong–perhaps stronger than Russia expected. That is what Ukraine is facing.
Putin is demonstrating Russian fascism Putin style.