Putin's trick of portraying Ukraine as fascist of course harkens back to the long-standing narrative that the Soviet Union liberated Europe from fascism. This narrative is deeply rooted in Russia or the Russian-speaking world, probably deeper than outside observers had previously thought. And state TV reaches the rural population in particular, tragically Putin's propaganda works here. For the moment.
This is another reason why Putin's crackdown on Memorial is so significant and terrible, as is his crackdown on journalism.
The Hitler-Stalin Pact would be a very good starting point (especially for a Russian audience) to reinterpret that long-standing narrative.