Former President Bill Clinton shared his assessment of Russian President Vladimir Putin while he was in Dubai for the Global Education & Skills Forum.

"He is highly intelligent, deeply, deeply patriotic in terms of Russia, but he sees it more in terms of the greatness of the state. I think he's got a sort of fatalistic view of the misfortunes that befall ordinary people when larger things are at stake," said Clinton, according to a report from the International Business Times.

Clinton admitted during the speech that although the Crimea referendum was a "constitutional farce," he suggested that historically, the region had strong ties with Russia.

"Crimea is a special case because [Nikita] Khrushchev gave it to Ukraine in '52 thinking Moscow would always run the whole show," he said, referring to the former Soviet leader.