This article was written for an American audience, which may explain your confusion. American conservatism is different from ideologies of the same name in other parts of the world, as what we have to “conserve” are the values of classical liberalism. The article is explaining why Americans should not paint Putin as a conservative hero (conservative in the American political sense) as he actually does not meet American conservative values. Whether or not Putin’s policies are good for Russia is not what is being discussed; this is merely to show a specific American audience that Putin could not be an American conservative based on his actions. You are correct in stating that all nations are different, but it appears you misunderstood the article. I do appreciate your comment and I trust that this will provide more clarity for you.