For the professor for International Affairs at the New School in New York the Russian Empire is far from over. Instead, Russia is seeking opportunities to regroup – hence Wladimir Putin's arguments about "Russia's traditional spheres of influence" – Ukraine, Georgia, and so on. These territories once were official parts of the Soviet Empire and still are considered "ours" nonetheless.
And Khrushcheva emphasizes, that the way Russians see it, Europe, well the West, rejected them. For them, the NATO expansion to its borders became a sign that the West itself doesn't consider Russia as Europe.