Putin comes from a line of ideological dictators (including Hitler and Stalin). These dictators become hostages to their own worldview. Hitler used to say “I pursue my destiny with the same certainty that a sleepwalker pursues his path”. The smashing power of reality may overwhelm Putin. Right now, he lives in a cocoon of lies, but once he gets a clear set of information, he will realize that he has failed because he has humiliated Russia more than anyone else, especially because Finland and Sweden will most likely join NATO. Russia’s foreign policy towards Finland has always been to deny that country any foreign policy. Lenin and Stalin would hate what he has done. They were Machiavellians and valued success. This is how he will meet his downfall. His fiasco in Ukraine has shown the bankruptcy of oligarchic kleptocracy. Putinism has failed politically, militarily, morally. But as a set of ideological salvationist fantasies, it will outlive Putin the same way Maoism has outlived Mao.