Russian soldiers rape, torture, kill and roll over people with tanks, because the Russian soldiers simply have guns and tanks. And they have tons and tons of Russia-above-all propaganda bullshit fed into their heads in the past 20 or so years, practically, for as long as they live. Perhaps, this is how the Russian soldiers see the true “Russian World,” the central construct of the Putin nazi “ideology.”
Is Putin popular in Russia? Hard to say since no opinion polls in Russia are trustworthy, no truthful information is available in the mainstream media, and regular people would rather abstain from sharing their genuine opinion, because it is not exactly encouraged. As most other quiet people, the Russians are not quick to protest. They are resentful. Will the Russians ever come to resist Putin because he is making them unhappy? Yes, when they see it is ok to resist openly.