Putin openly speaks warmly about the Soviet Union.
That's to say the least. He compared Christianity to Communism on Russian State TV, here are his words as presented by an English-language article
"Maybe I am about to say something that some people will not like, but I will say what I think," he says.
"Firstly, faith has always accompanied us. It strengthened when things were hard for our people's country. There have been harsh, godfighting years when clerics were destroyed and churches were ruined. But at the same time (Soviets) created a new religion. Indeed, communist ideology is very similar to Christianity."
But Putin argues that like Christianity, communism preaches "freedom, brotherhood, equality." He called the Moral Code of the Builder of Communism, a pamphlet of guiding principles for all party members, a "primitive excerpt from the Bible."
"Lenin was laid down in a mausoleum," Putin reminded his interviewer. "How does this differ to the remains of saints for the Orthodox or even for Christians in general?"
"I am often told: 'Nowhere in the Christian world is there such a tradition.' How can that be? Go to Athos and see how there are remains of saints and here also there are the sacred remains of Sergius and Herman," he says.
"So it seems that the authorities at the time did not invent anything new, but merely adopted under its own ideology something that humankind invented a long time ago."
Start at 5:47 in the video below:
My original thread on this interview can be found here