Russians are better off that the Soviet Union collapsed. Yes, there was significant economic hardship after the collapse, as well as some bruised egos. However, communism is a horrible system for people to live under. It leads to widespread poverty and government corruption. Instead, the Russians should work to continue economic reforms, strengthening private property rights and protecting individual rights.
Russian citizens are better off than when they were part of the Soviet Union. Under communism, they were not free and their economy collapsed. Although things are not great under Putin, there is hope it will get better under a different leader. Under Yeltsin, the people had more freedom and better economic security.
Although I do not believe the USSR was Communist once Stalin took over I will admit that under the "Socialist" rule the USSR gave more rights to it's people. Ever since it's collapse a lot of jobs for women have been cut disallowing women to do certain jobs as where in the USSR women had the same opportunity as men.
No, the citizens aren't better off yet, but not enough time has passed. The people need to get used to the idea that they can rely on their own initiative, skills, and creativity now. They've lost that after so many years of being oppressed. Once they finally "wake up," they will start to create a better reality for themselves and be better off.
Change is slow. Communism during the end of the Soviet Union was pretty repressive, but there have always been and always will be people at the top of the pile who are better off than everyone else. It seems to some, that Putin would fit in pretty well with the old Soviet regime. There are still societal restrictions, and Russia is not friendly to LGBT folks. The question is whether or not every day folks are better off since the USSR ended. Even with sweeping changes, socially and politically it's not like Russia is a democracy.