Actually, I'm becoming convinced that the situation is that he is basically a Russian chauvinist, and has latched onto this whole throwback ideology as part of that. It harkens back to a time when Russia was a major pole of world power, with an expansive ideology that commanded serious consideration the world over. The collapse of the USSR being the worst catastrophy to befall Russia's standing, prosperity and prestige in living memory, it makes sense to pound one's fist on the table for the righteousness of that former glory. Anyway, that explains both his superficial, overzealous, anachronistic advocacy of Soviet Communism, and also his embrace of the Putin party line on Syria here. Likewise, I'm given to believe that this sort of identification has become something of a thing in Russia recently, especially amongst the younger set for whom it is all an abstraction to begin with.