I'm an amateur chess player and Canadian. I enjoyed following Grischuk and Dubov. Nepo less so. Grischuk has a very dry sense of humour. Dubov is hilarious. And both awesome chess players.
I play chess against Russian's on LiChess all the time. Only one Russian ever trash talked me.
I've followed a Russian YouTuber and briefly discussed Russian politics with Russian's on Reddit.
My conclusion... It's everything to do with the older generation and the collapse of the USSR. People who grew up in the USSR, like Putin, are Soviets and didn't get over the collapse. And the Ukraine war is some horrible attempt by the older generation of Russians to restore the USSR.