“Destiny itself started directing us toward the East. […] Providence lit up such a powerful lighthouse on Amur that its light was visible to all of Russia, and it clearly said to us, ‘This is your path!’”8 Edrikhin spares no colors in describing the feats and failures of the Russian public figures who consciously or unconsciously recognized the historic direction for the Russian state: Obukhov, Poyarkov, Khabarov, Stepanov, Zinoviev, Golovin, Purtyatin, Nevelsky, Baranov, and many others. Edrikhin asserts that precisely “our situation” pushed us eastward, but the opportunity was not grasped and appreciated at the “important historic moment when the arena was yet unoccupied.” “Having completed our Siberian advance to the coast of the Yellow Sea, Russia could have become a sea faring power on the Pacific equal to England on the Atlantic, and turned Russians into patrons of Asia, just like the AngloSaxons of the United States became patrons to the American continent.”
After defining the range of Russia’s national interests and making a maximally objective estimate of our state’s actions in the struggle of the theater of life, the author next goes on to describe those states whose geographic and historical situations predestined them to become our opponents. Edrikhin not only describes the motives behind the actions of those powers that oppose Russia, but also analyzes the reasons behind their victories and our defeats. Notably, the author does not try to hide his patriotic bias, but tries as best he can, at the same time, to be completely objective when characterizing historical events. General Edrikhin also realizes as a scholar that while geostrategic factors predetermined the perpetual opposition, the understandable desire to gain victories, known to any state and nation, turned AngloSaxons into enemies of Russian interests.
“Development of a Pacific fleet with a requisite excellent naval base in the islands of Hawaii, as Shelekhov and Baranov intently demanded, was deemed unnecessary, since the prevailing wisdom of the time was that the Great Ocean was to remain for ever a barren emptiness of no interest to anybody. After AngloSaxons arrived and took away our grazing pastures in the Pacific, we retreated to Kamchatka. Later, the same AngloSaxons arrived in China and started braking our neighbors’ doors and windows. Hearing this noise, we descended to the Amur and settling down our knapsack, seated ourselves comfortably while waiting for new events.”