© Michael Klimentyev / Reuters
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union should have transformed the bloc into a democratic entity rather than see it collapse, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

"You know my attitude towards the collapse of the Soviet Union. There was no need to do it. Reforms could have been undertaken, including those of democratic nature,"the Russian president told the leaders of the parties which won seats in last week's general election.

"But I want to point out that the Communist Party was in charge of our former homeland, the USSR, not any other," Putin added.

The Communist Party of Russia, which evolved from its Soviet predecessor, is among the political forces represented in Russia's new parliament. The party's leader, Gennady Zyuganov, complained to the president that the Communists had suffered from increased and unfair competition during the campaigning, resulting in them gaining a smaller share of seats.

"The political system that has 77 parties and 14 running for the parliament prevents normal dialogue, which is bad, in my opinion," he said.

In April 2005, President Vladimir Putin called the USSR's collapse "the major geopolitical disaster of the [last] century" in a public address to the Russian parliament. This quote was circulated by the international mass media that claimed that it revealed the Kremlin's alleged plans to return to socialism. However, the Russian leader has repeatedly rejected these allegations, explaining that he meant the negative effect of radical and quick changes on the lives of everyday people.

In 2015, Putin was interviewed for a documentary and directly stated that Russia had no plans to bring back the USSR, but complained that no one wanted to believe in this. He went on to accuse European governments of confusing modern Russia with its Communist-run predecessor and of sacrificing the interests of common people in post-Soviet republics like Ukraine for the sake of preventing an imaginary threat.