In 2000, the year of Putin's ascent to power, Eva Thompson, Professor of Slavic Studies, published her book Imperial Knowledge: Russian Literature and Colonialism. Prof. Thompson explains the unique characteristics of Russian imperialism, showing the role of Russian writers' in building the myth of the Russian empire and explaining their resonance abroad over centuries. Why have literary critics failed to see Russia as a colonial power? How does Russian imperialist discourse differ from colonial discourse in Western literary traditions? What role can Ukraine have in helping people re-read Russian literature though a postcolonial lens?