The current 66% is way too high. Given how the Russian invasion is going as of now, they are unlikely to even try to go that far. My estimate is 10%.

Unlike defenders of Ukrainian cities right now, defenders of Lviv in hypothetical battle weeks from now will be very well-armed. All currently announced Western weapons will flow to Ukraine through Lviv.

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Update: 75%. With Russian troops moving into Belarus, I believe that commonly reported 175k-200k troops are not needed for invasion. I guess current 100k may suffice due to 3 reasons: 1. Ukrainian ground forces are around 170k. Only 130k are combat-ready, since the rest are conscripts, who are legally prohibited from serving on frontlines. Out of those 130k more than half are stationed near frontline at Donbass. So this leaves at most 60k troops to defend other parts of the border. With Russia creating threat from Belarus, there is about 3000km of bord...
My prediction: 80%. In case of invasion, I see 3 scenarios: 1. Invasion and attempt to occupy most of Donetsk and Lugansk regions with limited forces (couple of CAA and airborne). This may or may not include Mariupol. While limited geographically, this will still mean the largest-scale hostilities in Europe since WW2. 60% likely. 2. Larger invasion with the attempt to create corridor to Crimea. That would take most of deployed Russian forces and mean very large escalation and casualties. 20% likely. 3. Truly full-scale war with attack on Kyiv. 20% l...
Update on my prediction: 70%. People here (and more broadly in Western media) seem too focused on the idea of "insurgency", posing big problem to Russia. I think that the most likely Russian strategy will be to achieve fast military victory without entering major population centers far from border (I agree with This will have little military cost for Russia and will force Zelensky's government to capitulate and sign some treaty with federalization and other Russian demands. Existence of thi...

I predict less than 50%. By now it is clear that he is disconnected from reality. He has either gone mad or does not have access to any even remotely realistic information.

Aside from the sea change diplomatically and incoming economic disaster in Russia, Putin is stuck militarily in Ukraine and is not very likely to cut losses and get out of there as fast as he can. The longer war goes on (I now believe it is impossible for him to achieve even half of his political objectives in this war), the worse place he will be in.

I predict 30%.

@CraigMichael I think it should be lower. My prediction is 20%, since taking Odesa without taking a string of Eastern cities (Mykolaiv, Kherson, Melitopol, Mariupol) will be very hard militarily. So to do it you will end up taking bunch of large cities with total population of more than 3 million people. Prolonged fighting in any of these cities will be reputational disaster in Russia and may end up militarily costly as well.

My prediction: 45% in January, 45% in February, 5% at any other point in 2022. 70% in total for invasion in 2022.

@notany Spot price of gas has already skyrocketed over the last 5 months. And current gas prices are already unsustainable for large parts of European industry. Bunch of European factories in aluminum, cement, fertilizers industries stopped operating over last 3 months due to gas prices. This does not sound like routine statement:….

It may be interesting to add questions on the eventual fate of Putin. Will he be prosecuted in some kind of international tribunal? Will he die from natural causes?

@CraigMichael Your argument seems to imply much lower probability. I am still at 22%, since I do not see how Russia will benefit from it.

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@ugandamaximum I second this. I suggest either increasing it to 50% area/population or changing the question headline from "Ukraine" to "part of Ukraine".

My prediction: 65%. I see at least 3 important things, making invasion more likely, which were not mentioned here: 1. Russia has finished construction of Nord Stream 2 couple of months before. While it is not officially approved yet, it nullifies one of the most important defense strategies for Ukraine. Previously in case of invasion, Ukraine would stop transit of Russian gas to the EU. That would make the EU ex ante very strong opponents of any invasion. Now if Ukraine stops transit of natural gas, the EU will simply open up North Stream 2. 2. Most o...

65%. Putin is at a no-win trajectory and Russia is sliding towards complete disaster. By officially annexing territories he cannot hold, he has burnt bridges and left little room to compromise. As public support of the war in Russia plummets and the Russian economy collapses, Russian elites will have little choice other than try removing him from power.

30%. If/when the Russian front starts collapsing, they probably agree on peace ceding Donbass to retain Crimea. Crimea is very easy to defend given that Ukraine has no navy.

Metaculus should add the question on Ukrainian control of Donetsk and Luhansk cities by January 1, 2024. I guess I would put 80% on those.

30%. On the one hand, I agree with most of Juraj analysis. Russian territories to the east from the Ural mountains will be objectively better of either independent or as parts of China.

On the other hand, any sane Russian government (i.e., not the current one) will realize it and will try to prevent this.

@vijaykarthik I second the question. I would currently guess that probability of the first one (falling at some point before June) is 70%, while the probability of the second one is 30%, even if you include the pro-Russian government in the definition of the "Russian control".

The current formulation still seems unclear to me.

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@Jgalt I do not think that his statement is true. I guess he simply wanted to avoid mass moving of fleeing civilians due to a problem with Russian sabotage groups. Given that for the last 2 days they had mass curfew in Kyiv, they do not want large numbers of civilians moving around.

@RyanBeck While approval is likely to be a matter of time, it does not matter much whether it is approved now. What matters is that existence of completed Nord Stream 2, which is technically ready to use, deprives Ukraine of a credible threat to shut down transit in a case of an invasion. When it existed, this credible threat was used to align European incentives with Ukrainian incentives (not to be invaded). Now when Nord Stream 2 is complete and ready for use, this credible threat is gone and the EU has less reason to object to the invasion.

@Joker In a best-case scenario, palace coup. In a worst-case scenario, some kind of revolution or uprising.

@(Aaron14) I still stand with my 20% estimate. So far Russian plans are failing and it is not just a matter of tactics or lack of mass. I think they have tremendous problems with troop morale and logistics. Most of their troops do not know what the plan is, were never briefed on the invasion, and are understandably demoralized. Sure, by sheer mass they can still take a lot of territory and inflict huge civilian casualties via shelling and bombing, but given such ridiculous unpreparedness and unwillingness to fight, I do not see them taking Kyiv. At thi...