I think in the majority of these political discussions people know jackshit about the politician they're defending/opposing. To give you an idea, there was an experiment made on the University of Pensylvannia where people would be told in the streets about an economical project, for some people the interviewer told that it was made by Bernie and everyone supported his decision, while other people were told about this exact same project but this time Trump being the one responsible for it, and the ones interviewed totally opposed his plan.
Putin had turned the country that experienced the collapse of the Soviet empire, went through a political turmoil, an economic shock and currency default, anarchy, privatization, several wars and erosion of the standards of living in the terrible 1990’s. By the end of 90’s Russia was very close to a failed state, resembling the current situation in Ukraine, when Putin had taken over.
Actually Russia and Brazil are pretty similar in terms of the landmass and natural resources being considerably bigger than any other country at its continent, but both are shitholes (although Brazil is a bigger shithole) and are corrupt as hell.