there were no occupying governments
But now there is through the EU.
Also I wouldn't view our Swedish government as by or for the people.
For the Russians, of course, losing traditional satellites/occupied regions like Poland, the Baltic states, and the other Central European Slavic states was a symbol of its decline. That these states, so long under the Russian thumb, then joined NATO, was seen as a slap in the face. Putin is trying to recover something of Russia's old power, but he runs a nation that, while improving in some respects, really is a midget compared to Europe and the US.
The Russian identity is pretty intact though, that and the culture is in a much better position than in most of the rest of the west. Which was my point.
My point was never about what Russia try to portray themselves about or how mighty they are.
My point was all about how the west consider themselves as superior in democracy and freedom even though in the case of the US it's all foreign politics and dictators and non-elected leaders are just fine / possibly better as-long as they act in the interest of the US and here in Europe and Sweden especially democracy isn't a thing since social and main-stream media don't allow all opinions to be heard, the public sector and financial power is everywhere and so strong (majority of the public service employees and teaches in Sweden are sympathizers of the environmentalist party / left), information is being hidden (criminality statistics and data about the suspects of criminal activity, social economic costs and so on), lies are told and voice of the public is seen to be inferior and bad and that the "responsible" politicians and media know better and have to "take responsibility" (act authoritarian) because the public is wrong.
Germany may be even more fucked up than Sweden. They have always suffered under the "oh you were Nazis so you have to suffer under this and for that!" - I have no fucking clue what wrong Sweden have done but I guess it's just basic "white guilt"-shaming from the Marxists and parasites of color.
The combined economic and military might of NATO dwarfs Russia. The US alone is able to project force to just about everywhere from the Arctic to the Antarctic circles, and while Russia still has a lot of military capability, it remains as it always was, a fundamentally land-based power, able to harass and dominate some of its Eurasian neighbors, but ultimately geopolitically weaker than its competitors.
I'd rather say it's basically that of the US.
USA is what make up NATO. That comes with consequences though since USA is the people who pay for everything and who have the power the politics of the US also matter.
Sweden + Norway + Denmark + Finland + Iceland + Estonia (+ Lithuania + Latvia + Scotland + Poland + Hungary + Ukraine) could have had a reasonable population count and economy and through that military might to possibly hold up on their own and could had acted as a buffer zone in both direction and pose no threat to either side while still not be ruled by the US or EU.
Reality of course is that Russia harass and interfere less than USA do. And yeah, they have less capability so maybe that's part of the reason why, it's still how it is. Where Russia try to harass seem to be mostly into propaganda and sharing the Russian "view" of things. Then again it's not like the world doesn't listen to the American view either.