Vladimir Putin personally considering Ukraine a 'failed state', or 'not really a country', is a commonly accepted fact in ukrainian media. However I don't have an exact quote, and I couldn't find any records of him saying so. Surely there is a chance he wouldn't make such a claim in public, but on the other hand, if he did, it wouldn't be unlike him.
I'm looking for not merely a proof, but rather his justification, and how he builds up his argument. What points does he make to validate his case?
I know there is his "Crimean speech" from 2014, but I'm sure if that's what he believes, then he must have kept reiterating this point much earlier than 2014 in order to carry out the Crimean operation in the first place. Do you have any references from the top of your head? Searching here and on Google haven't produced much results, except from this acknowledgement of such narrative's reemergence in Russian media, and that this happens on a fertile ground in Russia, which is only an indirect confirmation.