"Why did he initiate this referendum? Why did he do it?" Mr. Putin asked. "To intimidate Europe, or to threaten someone? What is the point of this if he himself opposes the idea?"Putin really doesn't get democracy. I am not naive about power politics, but majority opinion matters in Western countries.
Politics also isn't everything in the West. Cameron has options outside of politics - resigning isn't the end of the world for him as it would be for Putin.