Browder: Putin trying to keep the nationalists happy

Russia's actions in and around Ukraine are designed to mollify nationalists and preserve Vladimir Putin's hold on power, Hermitage Capital Management CEO Bill Browder said on Monday.

"He opened up the Pandora's box of nationalism and so now people need more nationalism," Browder said in a "Closing Bell" interview.

Browder was expelled from Russia in 2005 and has been one of the most outspoken critics of Putin's regime. He said in May, and reiterated Monday, that Putin was trying to cement his grip on power with the annexation of Crimea.

"What Putin would like to do is create enough plausible deniability so he can slowly creep into these places and so by the time he's already there we can't even react," he said.