"Some of this rhetoric is simply for internal propaganda and political management, but it does seem to reflect a set of genuinely held beliefs by Putin," McDowell told CNBC via email.
"Namely that the collapse of the Soviet Union was largely due to (Mikhail) Gorbachev's failures to exercise assertive leadership at key points, that this was highly detrimental to Russia's strategic interests,. and that NATO's actions since then have been aimed at encircling and punishing Russia."
Tim Stanley, the Russia director for Control Risks said Putin's concerns are echoed by a number of western commentators, who have also questioned the legality of NATO's military activities.
Russia meanwhile, is trying to work its way back to a position of authority, Stanley believes, as can be seen in Moscow's involvement in Syria, and offers to mediate talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
"As a former superpower, Russia believes that it has a lot to contribute in resolving long-running conflicts in parts of the world where it has knowledge, expertise and experience," Stanley said.