Stephen Norris, Russian history professor at Miami University, offers this comparison:
One of the more worrisome trends in Putin speeches, especially in the last six or seven months, has been how amorphous, almost existential they’ve been. The Ukrainian war has been framed in existential terms — it’s a war to save Russian civilization. In the speech when he signed the treaties that annexed the four territories, he said Western culture is nothing less than satanism and this is the new threat against Russia. It was kind of scary and quite apocalyptic in the way his speeches had ever been. And in that speech, Putin actually referenced Goebbels. He said what the West has done is create a culture of lies about Russia that’s reminiscent of Goebbels.
In a speech in May of 1943, Goebbels said weirdly similar things. This was after Nazi Germany had lost at Stalingrad after the Soviet Union was turning the tide of the war. Goebbels gave a speech that turned the seeming defeat into victory and into a more existential question, saying the allies are trying to eliminate German culture, German history, the German people.