The West has not accepted Putin’s recent behaviour. It has retaliated with sanctions and other measures.
The danger his Russia poses is not analogous to that of the Soviet Union.
Putin does not incarnate an ideology. The Soviet Union was not only a Great Power but also the centre of the Communist Party. For seventy years it was communism rather than the USSR that threatened the established order of large parts of the world. Putin is only the head of a power whose economic greatness is shrinking visibly.
There is no Putinism.
Putin, however, has a modus operandi. In the current issue of the New York Review of Books, George Soros has defined it. His article is called “Wake Up Europe.”
“…Russia is presenting an alternative that poses a fundamental challenge to the values and principles on which the European Union was originally founded. It is based on the use of force that manifests itself in repression at home and aggression abroad, as opposed to the rule of law. What is shocking is that Vladimir Putin’s Russia has proved to be in some ways superior to the European Union – more flexible and constantly springing surprises. That has given it a tactical advantage, at least in the near term….”
That alternative, however serious, is not an ideology. Whatever it is, it cannot compete with the persuasive challenge communism presented in its heyday.