And you've forgotten all the tsars who were the worst of all their dictators. There is a reason one was called Ivan the Terrible you know.
And that's the reason. To my knowledge Russia, by whatever name, has never had a true democracy for a government. So even when they try to have one, like right after the Soviet Union failed, they really don't know how to do that.
True democracies are way harder to govern than dictatorships because the populous, the people, have some responsibility for how a democracy runs. Under the dictatorships the only responsibility the people have is to obey...or get shot.
Putin loved the Soviet Union. He was a high ranking officer in the KGB during the USSR days. So he wants to Make Russia Great Again as a dictatorship.