Until Putin's speech the world was intimidated by the Washington Bully. Resistance to Washington brought swift retribution. In the Middle East and Africa it brought economic sanctions and military invasions that destroyed entire countries. In France and other US vassal states it brought multi-billion dollar confiscations of bank net worth as the price of not following Washington's policies toward other countries.
Other countries felt powerless in the face of the arrogant hegemonic Unipower, which from time to time replied to noncompliance with threats, such as US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage delivered to Pakistan, to bomb noncompliant countries "back to the stone age." http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5369198.stm
President Putin of Russia brought all that to end on September 28. He stood up before the world in the presence of the overflowing hubris of the hegemon and belled the cat.