Agris Purviņš


History helps us to understand the events of today so that we can shape a better future. When studying history, we need to understand the spirit that led to these events, because various forms (people, climate, technical means, etc.) never repeat. An obvious example of this is the current military conflict between Ukraine and Russia, which demonstrates Russia’s continued inclination to expand from the center to the provinces after overcoming the current weakness of the empire thereby keeping neighboring countries under its control. This is the way they provide strategic depth in their military defense, which neither Napoleon’s France nor Hitler’s Germany succeeded in overcoming.

From 1918 to 1919, General Pēteris Radziņš served in high positions in the Ukrainian Army. He analyzed the events taking place at that time in Ukraine and why Ukraine failed. They are the same reasons it faces today, reasons which also affect Latvia:

  1. The inability of politicians and officials to overcome their greed and craving for power for common interest;
  2. Over-reliance on external aid from Germany;
  3. The inability of the nation to agree on common goals. Internal stuggle does not cease even in face of strong external threats.
  4. Russia’s geopolitical interests, which prevent it from losing influence over Ukraine. With the loss of Ukraine, Russia will become an Asian country, and Ukraine, once it is stronger, will never again come under Russian influence and instead will become a serious political force in Europe.

The idea of establishing a military union of countries between the North Sea and the Black Sea – Intermarium – was born as a result of World War I in order to counter the dangers from Germany and Russia to countries that had separated from the Russian Empire. At that time they failed to create such a union and Eastern European countries came under the influence of Russia again. Today, a closer military and political union of Intermarium nations is not an alternative to NATO, but a significant complement to it thereby strengthening the Alliance. The future will show whether our Eastern European politicians can understand history and learn from it and not repeat the mistakes of their predecessors.