After gaining independence from the Soviet Union in the 90s, Eastern European countries eagerly turned to the West. This was a natural inclination, as Eastern Europe has always been an integral part of Western civilization, from which it was for a time forcibly torn away by the Asiatic Muscovy and its successors, the Russian Empire, and the Soviet Union. Eastern Europeans were attracted to the West’s high standards of living, work ethic, rule of law and orderly society – attributes they considered, and rightly so, to be the hallmarks and achievements of Western civilization. Accordingly, they sought to introduce all this into their own society.
Eastern Europe has made and continues to make remarkable progress in establishing Western norms, in re-integrating into the Western world and gradually but surely approaching its standard of living. However, in the process, the people of Eastern Europe have lost sight of the fact that the West has been undergoing a significant transformation, moving away from its roots. The spirit of self-confidence that had once defined the West's achievements was waning, replaced by self-abasement and timidity. The West has been gradually losing pride in its history, culture and traditions, imposing a guilt complex on itself and, most egregiously, has succumbed to vilifying its own people – i.e., the white people, who had created this great civilization in the first place. Recently, the culmination of this whole trend has been the rise of the woke culture. For some time, all this went unnoticed by Eastern Europeans, who, understandably, were primarily focused on building their own societies in accordance with what might be called "Western virtues," not realizing that the West itself was gradually losing these very virtues.
However, in recent years, especially in the last decade, contradictions between Eastern and Western Europe have become apparent. These contradictions are related to such central issues as non-European immigration (especially from Africa and the Middle East), national identity and, importantly, the stance towards Russia. Eastern Europe, with its memory of Russian/Soviet occupation, takes a tough stance towards Russia, while some Western countries adopt a more conciliatory position and even, to this day, harbor some sympathies towards it.
Nevertheless, the contribution of Western states to the rejuvenation of Eastern European countries and the role they played during the difficult transitory period in the early 90s cannot be denied. Countries like France, Germany, and the United Kingdom played a significant role in integrating Poland, the Baltic states, and others into the European family, thanks to which they are now prosperous societies with a highly skilled population. However, now that Eastern Europe has matured and gained enough strength, it should take the initiative and carry the torch of Western civilization further to the east.
Regardless of whether Western countries realize it or not, Western civilization still faces the historical task of resolving the Russian problem and reorganizing the vast Eurasian space currently occupied by that country. In this regard, it becomes clear that Eastern Europe has a unique advantage and is best suited for solving this historical task. Eastern Europeans, more than anyone, understand the true nature of Russia and the threat it poses. In addition, their relevant language skills and cultural, historical connections to this space provide them with an unprecedented understanding of Russian realities. Last but not least, unlike the West, Eastern Europeans still possess the fervor and civilizational drive that once made Western civilization great. Therefore, it is evident that they are best suited for administering that Eurasian space, at least what lies West of Urals, ensuring stability there, as well as its closer integration with Europe.
However, realizing the complexity of the upcoming historical mission, one must be aware that the destruction of Russia and the transformation of the space it currently occupies will not be an overnight venture. This is a process that will require time and needs consolidated external effort, which, sadly, the West is not really inclined to get behind. Western countries, especially the U.S., have historically treated Russia with a certain degree of sympathy, often turning a blind eye to its aggressive actions and egregious crimes, such as the aggression against Georgia in the early 90s and in 2008, against Moldova in 1992, the Chechen wars of 1994-1996 and 1999-2000, as well as the aggression against Ukraine in 2014, and even rescuing it at critical moments when it was on the brink of collapse – during the Russian Civil War, World War II and the collapse of the USSR.
There are two reasons that could explain the West's leniency toward Russia. First, the West has always viewed Russia as an integral part of the world order and therefore prefers its stability. But there is also another deeper reason for the West's conciliatory attitude toward Russia. Over the past 60-70 years, there has been a profound shift in the attitudes and preferences of contemporary Western society. Modern Western society has gradually made stability, comfort, and personal fulfillment its cornerstones, shying away from ambitious undertakings, confrontation, and assertiveness, and even more outrageously, denouncing such noble aspirations as mental pathologies and vilifying people with a healthy confrontational attitude. All this ultimately leads to timidity, refusal to take risks and avoidance of confrontation in the international arena, which, among other things, results in the conciliatory stance towards Russia that we observe.
Even now, during the war in Ukraine, the West's response has been primarily reactive, prioritizing avoidance of confrontation with Russia over actively supporting Ukraine. It’s just Russia's repeated brutal transgressions have gradually, but unfortunately not yet completely, undermined the West's excessive goodwill toward it. And even then, the West would have conveniently ignored these Russian crimes and gladly made another deal with Russia, if not for the willpower and heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people.
Eastern Europe, therefore, is forced to reckon with a difficult reality; despite its numerous past and present crimes, many in the West still harbor deeply rooted sympathies for Russia, often perceiving its egregious crimes merely as missteps, akin to the tantrums of an unruly child. Such sentiments, in turn, are further reinforced by the prevailing timidity and pathological cautiousness in modern Western society, which often borders on neuroticism.
For example, it is telling that in the 90s, the U.S. was wary of the prospect of the Soviet Union's collapse and even pressured Ukraine not to declare independence. Moreover, when the opportunity finally arose in the early 90s to disarm a vulnerable Russia and force it, among other things, to renounce its nuclear arsenal, the U.S. instead pressured Ukraine to hand over its nuclear weapons, plus some conventional missiles, to that very Russia – i.e., disarming the victim instead of the abuser and forcing the former to prostrate itself before the latter. This perverted attitude towards Russia and its victims was once again glaringly revealed when U.S. President Bill Clinton downplayed the severity of Russia's crimes in Chechnya, drawing a controversial parallel between Chechen independence fighters and the Confederates (i.e., the South) during the American Civil War.
In view of this, Eastern Europe must acquire its own military-political agency, becoming self-sufficient and capable of overcoming Russia without depending on Western help. Eastern European countries must think and plan long-term, preparing for a prolonged struggle and a historical mission of civilizational importance. Even the most optimistic scenario, such as Russia's complete and crushing defeat in the current war and Ukraine's return to its 1991 borders, will not mark the end of the confrontation. Or, on the other hand, a freeze in hostilities at the current frontline will also fundamentally change nothing. The fight and struggle against Russia will have to continue regardless of where the demarcation line runs – whether in the south of Dnipro River, Donetsk, Belgorod, Kursk, Bryansk, or perhaps in the suburbs of Moscow.
Therefore, a more coordinated effort by Eastern European countries is needed, which must begin now, without hoping for a quick end to the war and a return to the normality of everyday life that existed before. Eastern European countries, accordingly, should unite into a single bloc, and their societies should be animated by the historical mission that stands before them – i.e., resolving the Russian problem and reorganizing that vast Eurasian space. To this end, it is time to revive the concept of the Baltic-Black Sea Union (Intermarium), first articulated by the Polish leader Józef Piłsudski in the interwar period, which envisaged the unification of the territories from the erstwhile Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth into a single military-political alliance.
Eastern Europeans must realize that they are entering into a long-term struggle against Russia, that has parallels with the Great Turkish War fought by the alliance of European States (Holy League) against the Ottoman Empire (1683 - 1699), which followed the failed siege of Vienna by the Ottoman Turks, which, incidentally, is historically equivalent to the failed siege of Kyiv by the Russians in 2022.
In this next phase of confrontation, Western powers such as the US, the UK, Germany, and France will most likely abstain from any, even indirect, involvement. However, history suggests that determined coalitions of Central-Eastern European states can challenge and defeat formidable empires. The Holy League, consisting of Habsburg Austria, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Kingdom of Hungary, defeated the Ottoman Empire in the Great Turkish War without military support from the most powerful European state of the time – namely France, which actually even supported the Ottomans during the conflict, actively thwarting the combined Central-Eastern European attempts to defeat them. Nevertheless, in the end, the Central-Eastern European coalition emerged victorious, leading to the signing of the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699, which expelled the Ottomans from Central-Eastern Europe.
This historical precedent should inspire Eastern Europeans in their confrontation with Russia. They can prevail over it if they are united, assertive, and focused. Western countries, meanwhile, might provide some assistance, but it will obviously be lukewarm and insufficient for a permanent and conclusive resolution of the Russian problem. Naturally, the Intermarium countries should continue to make the most of any Western aid, however minimal, to bolster their own power base. But primarily, they must take the initiative and rely only on their own combined forces.
In this context, Intermarium faces several interrelated challenges – military confrontation with Russia, countering Western tendencies towards appeasement (and these will definitely occur without any doubt) and sowing division within Russia itself by supporting national/regional liberation movements. All this requires close cooperation in various areas from Eastern European countries, such as Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic States, and possibly others.
Firstly, and most obviously, they should be able to produce their own weapons and will therefore need to strengthen their own military-industrial complexes – either individually or as a joint venture. The aim must be to have the capability to jointly defeat Russia in an offensive conventional war.
Poland, for instance, has recently gone on a buying spree of U.S. and South Korean weapons to strengthen its army. While this is a welcome and absolutely necessary step, it is only a half measure. It goes without saying that unless the country establishes its own strong military-industrial complex capable of producing all kinds of conventional weapons, including its own tanks and long-range missiles, it will always remain vulnerable and dependent on the conditions set by others.
The same, of course, applies to Ukraine. We have witnessed enough how Western countries attach conditions to their arms supplies to Ukraine (beside the fact that these supplies are never enough in the first place), the most blatant and disturbing of which is that they are not to be used to strike targets inside of Russia or to be used to enter Russian territory. It is therefore imperative for the Eastern European countries to become self-sufficient and fully independent in terms of arms production.
In this context, it is also important to realize that NATO membership provides only an illusory sense of security and, most importantly, as has been vividly demonstrated in the context of the current war in Ukraine, actually restricts individual member states, hindering their actions. Poland, for example, could have long ago entered the war on the side of Ukraine, or at least sent troops into Belarus, if it were not constrained by obligations related to NATO membership. In practice, the (in)famous Article 5 operates in the way completely opposite to which it was originally intended. Not only is it uncertain whether it will be activated at all, when needed, to fulfill its original purpose (events suggest that most likely it will not), but it actually restrains NATO countries from action and paralyzes them, without providing any real security guarantees.
Another important step that specifically Ukraine must take, using the current opportunity, is to declare its moral right to re-acquire nuclear weapons and start its nuclear program. In 1994, Ukraine was forced to give up its nuclear arsenal in exchange for security guarantees from the U.S. and Russia. It is quite obvious that the Russian invasion has rendered this agreement null and void. Thus, Ukraine has all the moral and legal arguments to regain its former status of a nuclear power. At the very least, and this is the bare minimum of what needs to be done, the Ukrainian government should use this as a bargaining chip in negotiations. Overall, one should never forget the simple fact that there is no better security guarantee than possessing one’s own nuclear weapons.
Beyond its obvious purpose, the military self-sufficiency will be crucial for another important, but often overlooked, task that Eastern Europeans will have to accomplish, namely supplying weapons to the national/regional liberation movements that will inevitably emerge within Russia in the coming years and decades. Accordingly, the goal for the Intermarium countries in terms of armaments should be, firstly, to produce enough weapons for themselves, with the potential goal of defeating Russia in an offensive conventional war, and secondly, to have sufficient surpluses to supply freedom fighters within Russia itself, so that they can ultimately prevail against the central government forces. And this is where having its own strong arms industry will prove indispensable for Eastern Europe, because, as many are aware, countries are not allowed to export weapons imported from elsewhere – for example, Poland obviously won't have the right to transfer to the freedom fighters inside Russia the military equipment it is currently buying from the U.S. and South Korea.
The possibility of unrest and emergence of separatist movements within Russia, up to and including civil war, should not be overlooked. One must be aware that once things flare up in Russia, Western countries will by default seek to preserve its integrity. Needless to say, they will be unlikely to provide weapons or any support to national/regional liberation movements within Russia. On the contrary, they may even try to thwart the attempts by regions & national republics to achieve independence, and in any case their sympathies will be with the Russian central government, as we have already seen in the case of the Chechen Wars for example, and their default stance will definitely be in favor of stability within Russia. In this regard, the Intermarium countries will face a dual task – providing military support to separatist movements within Russia and at the same time thwarting Western attempts to prevent its collapse. Eastern European countries, currently primarily Ukraine, have always relied on the West and been completely dependent on it regarding their security. But they have to realize that in the future, others will need their protection and will ask them for help! Hence, the Intermarium countries must be capable of providing this help and actively supporting the regions fighting for their independence from Russia. For those freedom fighters, Intermarium will be the only ray of hope.
The next area in which the Intermarium countries will need to ramp up joint efforts is propaganda. Both currently and in the future, Eastern Europeans will have to repeatedly and painstakingly convince the West of the need for a tougher and uncompromising stance towards Russia, and most importantly, to argue their position in favor of sowing instability and supporting separatist movements within it with the aim of its ultimate collapse and disintegration.
For decades, Russia has had a monopoly on spreading its propaganda in the West, using channels such as Russia Today, and more covert methods – for example, sowing confusion and spreading its narratives in internet discourse through agents of influence and "troll factories". The Intermarium countries must do something similar, and it is absolutely necessary. There should appear an analogue of "Russia Today", promoting Eastern European narratives in the West, and Eastern European agents of influence, bloggers, etc., must firmly establish themselves in the internet space. And yes, they should also not shy away from creating their own "troll factories".
Ultimately, finishing off Russia and reorganizing that entire Eurasian space (at least what lies west of the Urals) will be the historical mission of Intermarium, united around Ukraine-Poland axis. The success of this mission will require not only the right political decisions, but also the corresponding mindset in society. Eastern European societies will have to transform themselves based on a martial ethos and be imbued with their civilizational mission. Merely achieving high standards of living, "like in the West", should not be an end in itself.
Particularly Ukraine, but also other Eastern European societies, must emphasize military preparedness and be animated by loftier civilizational goals that transcend the mundane, such as the final destruction of Russia and the integration of Western Eurasia into European civilization. They will need to become militarized societies. Which, however, does not mean ignoring civilian needs. A holistic societal framework based on the unity of military and civilian spheres in science, technology and education should be the model for Eastern European countries to implement in order to both grow strong militarily and at the same time avoid the strain that such militarization might entail for civilian life.
Military profession should be made more attractive to the youth, and this should apply not only to positions directly related to combat, but also to fields like military engineering and medicine. Young people should be lining up at military academies and be eager to become military engineers, doctors, or scientific researchers in these fields. In addition, military personnel employed in combat-related positions and thus risking their lives must be assured that in the event of their death, their children will live in abundance, that society will take care of them, and that their families will not feel the loss of the breadwinner in financial terms. Providing substantial social benefits and financial support to military families will contribute to increasing the size of the armed forces, mainly because men will be more willing to risk their lives without looking back, confident that their children will be alright.
In addition to increasing combat readiness and assuring the replenishment of the army, the prestige of the military profession will also contribute to solving another, more long-term and profound task, namely, improving the demography and preserving the vigorous gene pool in society, which is absolutely necessary to achieve the civilizational goals facing the Intermarium.
It is no secret that Ukraine, in the current war, is losing its best, most vigorous people – the very type of people who are meant for great achievements and to lead civilization forward. Many of them die without leaving offspring or are thus deprived of the opportunity to create more offspring, which leads to the loss of precious gene pool. Assurance of the well-being of their families, even in the event of their death, would encourage them to procreate more readily, and at a younger age, which, in turn, would help improve the demography and the gene pool in society.
In addition, maintaining a martial spirit in society will naturally require the rejection of cultural-Marxist ideologies that increasingly came to define the Western mainstream and that have actually led Western society to its current timidity and spinelessness, degrading and undermining it from within for many decades now, ultimately rendering it incapable of withstanding barbarians both outside and inside its borders. Therefore, the Intermarium countries will need to avoid and resist the implementation of certain practices of modern Western society, which have come to be called "progressive," but in reality, are not progressive, but rather regressively fanatical – such as national self-flagellation, stigmatization of patriotism and national pride, Third World immigration, multiculturalism, radical feminism, etc.
On the other hand, however, in some other areas, primarily Ukraine, but also ideally all Intermarium countries, may have to adopt more radical and liberal measures, even by Western standards. And again, this will be aimed at improving the demography and preserving the gene pool.
It would be worth considering development and more widespread implementation of artificial insemination, primarily using the preserved sperm of soldiers killed in combat. Prior to their deployment, military personnel could donate their sperm for storage, which could be used for artificial insemination in the event of their death or loss of fertility as a result of combat actions. This would naturally require simplification of rules and liberalization of legislation pertaining to artificial insemination and normalization of single motherhood in society. The latter will also be necessary due to the inevitable increase in the surplus of women in Ukrainian society, and potentially in those of other Intermarium countries, due to prolonged wars.
Thus, ultimately, the demographic component and high-tech will interact with each other in a self-sustaining cycle. Implementation of scientific and technological innovations in the military sphere and in civilian life will support demographics – i.e., high-quality, and advanced military equipment will save soldiers’ lives, social innovations will support the gene pool of society (see above), and healthy demography and gene pool will, in turn, drive this very scientific and technological progress.
So far, Eastern European countries have certainly been lagging behind the technological advancement of Western countries. But oftentimes in history, it was necessity and life-threatening circumstances that stimulated people to make significant leaps forward. Eastern Europe is exactly at such a historical moment and, despite its current backwardness, has every chance, and most importantly, a strong incentive, to transform and rise above itself. The issue here is not about capability – Eastern Europe does have the talent and human potential in abundance, but exclusively of willpower and faith in oneself.
Overall, if Eastern Europe succeeds in this civilizational mission, the West itself will also benefit from it. Instead of Russia, which has time and time again manifested its deep hatred and hostility towards Western civilization, it will be the Intermarium that will control this vast Eurasian space and ensure stability in it. But unlike Russia, Eastern Europe is an integral part of Western civilization, and its societies are imbued with love for the West. Therefore, in this new configuration, when interacting with Eurasia, the West, as a reference point, will deal with a heartfelt friend and faithful ally in the face of the Intermarium, and not with an embittered and hate-filled enemy in the form of Russia.
In the past, Eastern Europe could prevail over formidable empires, but only when it was focused and united. Conversely, internal divisions and discord, as a rule, rendered Eastern European nations unable to withstand the onslaught of invaders, which eventually led to loss of independence. Therefore, in these fateful times, the countries of Eastern Europe, like never before, need to be guided by the lessons of history and act upon them.
Russia's aggression against Ukraine, while undoubtedly being a great tragedy for the Ukrainian people, should thus be seen as an opportunity; a chance to rejuvenate and rise above oneself. This tragic shock can and should serve as an incentive for Ukrainians, and for all Eastern Europeans for that matter, to realize their potential, which has remained dormant for a long time, or even to discover hitherto unknown strengths and capabilities within themselves.
In this respect, in a sense, one can even see a positive aspect in the lukewarm and insufficient help that Ukraine receives from the West. Suppose Western countries supplied Ukraine with all the necessary weapons in the required amount or even in excess. Or if they directly intervened and crushed Russia in no time. Of course, this would greatly reduce the number of victims, the amount of pain, and suffering. But then it would be a victory for the West, not for Ukraine. In such a case, Ukraine and all of Eastern Europe would not see the need to become strong and build up their own power.
Ukraine, along with the rest of Eastern Europe, would be doomed to remain a subordinate part of the West, on its outskirts, without its own agency and completely at the mercy of the agenda, primarily cultural and moral, currently prevailing in the West. Of course, the standards of living would gradually increase, and prosperity would rise. People would live "like in the West" and over time, a petty-bourgeois insouciance would prevail in society – as, basically, has taken place in the West itself. And, frankly, many would be satisfied with such an outcome. But, regardless of whether one likes it or not, living idly and “peacefully” on the outskirts of the West will not be an option. Circumstances compel Eastern Europe, and Ukraine in particular, not just to imitate the West, not just to aspire to its standard of living and comfort, but to become better and stronger than it. To be not followers, but trendsetters. Not to blindly adopt the political and cultural agenda currently prevailing in Western countries, but on the contrary, to create their own, which others, primarily the West itself, would aspire to adopt.
As for the lost and ruined lives, the reincarnation and revitalization of Eastern Europe as a result of the current painful impetus will open up opportunities to create new lives, forge new destinies filled with purpose, and animated by a mission and a striving for achievements that transcend the mundane and the vapidity of everyday life.
Obviously, no one voluntarily signs up for a historical mission, and historical tasks are not distributed on demand. Destiny itself chooses the people and nations who in certain epochs come to bear a certain civilizational “burden”. In this current era, it is the peoples of Eastern Europe who have been given a mission of civilizational scale – to put an end to Russia and transform Western Eurasia. It is they, and no one else, who must bear this “burden of history”. And it is up to them to determine not only their own fate but also the fate of all the peoples and regions of Eurasia currently enslaved by Muscovy, who see in Eastern Europe their ray of hope.