While Putin is usually very clear and principled about where he stands on certain issues, even if he often couches things in diplomat-speak, he now seems to be playing the plausible deniability game for some reason. While I think that Putin's recent actions are made under some duress and he has opinions on the matter which run contrary to the agenda, they nevertheless seem to be holding something over him where he feels at the very least the need to roll over and play dead in order to live another day.
I think there is something there. Have you seen MAKS 2021? It may be unrelated, though.... Pay attention to the name and how it seeks to project itself geopolitically.