Russian State Duma (lawmakers) are seeking the prosecution of former leader Mikhail Gorbachev for allowing the "illegal" collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The five MPs, from the ruling United Russia party, the Communist party and the Liberal Democratic Party, are seeking an investigation into Gorbachev's role in what Russian President Vladimir Putin called the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century".

The politicians claim that the Soviet leadership, which Gorbachev headed before the Union's fall, had acted in an illegal manner despite a majority vote of 77% to preserve the Soviet bloc.

"As a result of these criminal actions, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a global superpower, was destroyed and ceased existing as a geopolitical reality," the lawmakers wrote in a letter delivered to Russian Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika.

The five MPs seemingly accused the breakup of the Soviet Union for causing unrest in neighbouring ex-Soviet republics such as Ukraine and Georgia.

"The catastrophic consequences have manifested themselves throughout the years since the collapse of the USSR, in Russia as well as on the territory of the (other) former Soviet republics," the letter continued.

Gorbachev reacted to the call by saying that the MPs' move was "sheer stupidity".

"These people just do not have shame. I do not react to such statements. I am doing my business and taking care of my health," he said.

The call for Gorbachev to be investigated is another sign of Soviet nostalgia after the annexation of Crimea and unrest in the various pro-Russian cities of Eastern Ukraine.

Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen condemned Russia's build-up of troops along their shared border with Ukraine and refusal to enter into a meaningful dialogue with the military alliance.

'From Prague, I have this message to Russia: You have a choice to stop blaming others for your own actions, to stop massing your troops, to stop escalating this crisis and start engaging in a genuine dialogue," he said.

"If Russia is serious about a dialogue, the first step should be to pull back its troops."

Gorbachev is reportedly residing in Germany at present and, if found guility in any investigation that does take place, it would be Germany's decision whether to extradite the former leader to Russia or not.