Yes, I think that is a big part of it. I mean, imagine living under the Soviet Union, and the turmoil after. There was nothing stable and comforting about the Soviet Union. Nationalism needs pride or it doesn’t really work.
The USSR demanded loyalty, without… I dunno, and anchor, a uniting factor. They tried to instill nationalism while taking away national identities, replacing the “nation” with idealistic foreign values that no one in power seemed to keep to, and that never seemed to work.
I don’t want to divert the thread further, but I think Putin saw that these people already had values. So why not make those values the national identity, and then nationalism will come naturally, with his face as a trademark; religion, hard work, prosperity, strength. It’s what has held the US together for much of our history, and made us so easily controllable. USA, one nation under god, mom’s apple pie, go and fight for Freedom!
To connect the dots to the topic, I think people with that perspective of “nation” might easily fall under the Trumpian sway and do something like this on their own. It has certainly worked with a lot of Americans, sadly.