Historian Timothy Snyder shows we've seen this behavior from Putin before : NPR's Book of the Day Russian President Vladimir Putin has framed his recent invasion of Ukraine as a "de-nazification" of the country. This is not a new move by Putin. In fact, he used this same rhetoric to attack the Ukranian protesters during the 2014 annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. Back in 2014 historian Timothy Snyder talked to NPR's Robert Siegel about fascism in Ukraine and the rise of Stalinism in Russia. He told Siegel that calling Ukranians Nazis is both a way to confuse the European Union - because they know Nazis were bad - and a way to garner pro-Russian sentiment.