Well, even though Putin is not quite like Hitler, he is an authoritarian autocrat. His popularity is declining, especially after Putin critic, Navalny exposed corruption in the Russian government, in a YouTube video where he said that Putin owns all the oil wealth in the country and owns a lavish palace while his people are struggling financially. This lead to protests allover Russia on a scale not seen in a while.
Putin has taken total control and the state even controls most of Russian media where news channels dish out propaganda to its citizens by praising its own government and demonizing the US (its enemy) as aggressively as possible in order to maintain control of its citizens.
Lucky for me, being able to speak English, I was able to compare foreign news sources with local Russian news sources, and I saw that they differ. So I realized that state owned Russian media is not trustworthy, but for most Russian people who can not speak English, it is difficult for them to find the truth that they are being lied to.
It’s best to consult trustworthy news sources like Reuters and AFP. Some western news media may also be biased.
I noticed here that the government is oppressive to foreign students with curfews in university halls and security personnel harassing students, with their movements being restricted within the country. There is also reports of politicians and critics of the gov’t disappearing or being murdered, and billionaires being imprisoned.
I do not know what Putin wants but being the fact that he is a former secret agent, he must be cold and remorseless and my opinion is that he misses the communist times.
As for interference in the US elections, whether true or not, Russia has the motive, and maybe the capability to do it. It was clear that they disliked Clinton and favoured Trump partly because of his stance against NATO, which is known that Russia despises NATO.