Putin is a strategist — he notes what cards he has in his hand, how to play them to his best advantage, and how his opponents are likely to respond. (Hint: they’re not. They have their own “problems” trying to turn their own countries into their idea of utopia, which will always have priority over historical-scale efforts.)
This is what happens when you slash the defense budget. Simple as that. Even tougher talk is no substitute for actual power.