Whats the plan, man?

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"The world has had its share of bad guys, thank you. Now it is time for a real world 'justice league' - and Russia could be a part of it."

As a former negotiator, on the first things I had to learn was to try and understand what the person on the other side of the table was thinking. What were his or her motivations or plans? It was helpful to know as much as possible in trying to craft a deal. Over the years, I actually got to be quite good at it.
I still do it today. I try to read between the lines, and figure out someone's motivation for doing things. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Lets take Putin for example. I have zero clue in what he is trying to do. What his end game is.
The bottom line is this - Russia has never fully recovered from the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Putin has been quoted as saying the day the Union fell, was one of the worst days in his life. His "spy craft" he learned in the KGB, became all but useless. He hated the fact Russia was trying to westernize itself and be more like Europe, or the hated America. But Russia was broke and broken. All they really had going for them was a rich abundance of oil and natural gas. If prices stay high - good. If the United States becomes an energy exporter and floods the market - bad.
So what is Putin doing in Syria? What is the game plan? Why try to prop up a man who is morally corrupt and totally evil? After what the Russia went through in World War II with the barbaric cruelty of the Nazis, one would think those memories still burned hot within them.
Right now, Russia could have a golden street stretched out in front of them. That is, if they played ball the right way. First, Russia would need to exit Syria and condemn Assad. Next, give up all cyber attacks, on anyone worldwide. Strike a trade deal with Trump, which would benefit and enrich both countries. Exit Crimea and let that country elect their own leaders once again. It is not too late to be a good guy instead of a bad guy. To help humanity instead of hurt humanity.
During the Cold War, when we literally stood at the edge of something scary and bad, I often wondered how this world would be if Russia and the United States were friends instead of enemies. I still wonder that. The world does not have to be ying and yang, or zero sum. It could be a total win-win for all.
So Vlad, what is the plan, man? I have tried very hard to mind meld with you, and I cannot figure you out. Do you really like being the turd in the punch bowl? Instead of that, how about being a hero? Someone who will go down on the right side of history.
The world has had its share of bad guys, thank you. Now it is time for a real world "justice league" - and Russia could be a big part of it.