In one of the Japanese learning books I own there is a following text (right from the start):
バーシカ is the name of the dog. The approximate translation, as I understand it, is: "Baska's life was terrible. He didn't have any family, didn't have any job, he slept under an old barn at nights, and spent his free time catching fleas."
What I'm interested in is the usage of いなければ there. Clearly, it is supposed to convey the meaning of "(any family he) didn't have, and...", which is "いなくて" in Japanese. But in the text there is いなければ, which should be translated as "if he didn't (have any family)...", and that doesn't make any sense, looking at the whole sentence.
Now, the original of this text was in Russian, and the author of the book is Russian too, but this text was translated to Japanese by a Japanese person, which adds to the doubt that it is simply a mistake. Also, in the grammar comments for this text the book clearly states: "Inakereba - verb inai in conditional form (if there is no...)"
So, the question is, can conditional ば form be used in the meaning of くて form, like in this example? Or maybe I completely missing something, in which case I would be really thankful for any explanations.