@Glossy The account’s name, loogunda, is a “phonetic” English transcription of a nickname for the Lugansk region popular among the pro-Kiev crowd. This nickname mocks Lugansk by making its name sound African, like this:


I’ve also seen “Donbabwe” for Donbass. There’s not much political correctness in Eastern Europe.

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I have this at 98%. The talk here about him having cancer is wishful thinking. During the 2014-2015 war in the Donbass the pro-Russian side expected Poroshenko to drop dead any minute due to alcoholism and diabetes. Currently they’re saying Zelensky is on drugs. During the US presidential campaign of 2016 pro-Trump people said Hillary was seriously sick and Bill had a few months to live. Coughing fits, dropped shoe, etc. During WWII British soldiers had a song about Hitler lacking a testicle - same opera. People have had these wishful thoughts about po...

@ClayGraubard It wouldn’t resolve Ukraine’s territorial integrity problems. There’s Crimea besides the Donbass.

I think a war in the Donbass is pretty likely now. The size of the two people’s republics would increase in such a war, but not by a huge amount. I think a wider war involving areas outside the Donbass is less likely. A change of government in Kiev is possible but unlikely.

I have this at 3%. Polish troops are more likely to enter Lvov this year than Russian ones. And yes, folks, apparently that’s on the table. It would be interesting to see a Metaculus question about that.

@(mumpskin) When I started paying attention to this iteration of the Russia Attacks story, the message was that the tanks would roll on Christmas. Then they switched to “when the swamps freeze over”. Then it became “after the Olympics”. But a little lower in this thread there’s a quote from a US gov official giving the period of middle of February to the end of March. The swamps will be thawing out then! And that’s just this iteration. They’ve had a Russia Attacks story every year since 2014. If it ever happens, and yes it could, the US intelligence com...
@(mumpskin) The US gov and the journalists connected to it have predicted this invasion many times before. I don’t think there’s been a year since the end of the Donbass War when they haven’t done this. The further you move from them, the closer to Russia and Ukraine, the less certainty there seems to be. Russian-language media, of all stripes and allegiances, including all kinds of opposition, is less convinced. My current estimate is 30%. Why would US gov sources raise a false alarm? They may be preparing PR ground for a Ukrainian attempt to reconq...

Putin looks fine. You guys are engaging in wishful thinking. I have this at 98%. If anyone wants to bet money on the outcome of this Metaculus question, just say so in a reply to this comment. We can discuss details.

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@Glossy If I choose to believe that you’ve really been paying attention to this story, I would have to conclude that you don’t think Britain is a Western country. Because its intelligence definitely predicted a Christmas invasion.

1) Will Russia control Slavyansk and Kramatorsk before 2023? This is very important because it’s a marker of who wins the battle of the Donbass. 2) Will more than 10k Ukrainian troops surrender over a single week at any time before 2023? It’s a possible outcome of the Donbass battle. 3) Will Polish troops enter Ukraine before 2023?

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I hope at least a few people here are able to learn a lesson:

When intel services say something, it’s to promote their agendas, not to enlighten the public. The Iraqi WMD story wasn’t a fluke. Most of their public pronouncements are like that.

@johnnycaffeine Permanently imminent, eminently tweetable: the forever tomorrow war.


“Intelligence chiefs have warned ministers of a “very real possibility” Russia could invade Ukraine on Christmas Eve.”


@mumpskin “Moscow Could Launch Armed Attack Over Christmas While the World Is Distracted, Experts Warn”

"Moscow likes to commit aggression when the world is not paying attention. It invaded Afghanistan during the Christmas season in 1979 and attacked Georgia during August vacation season," ambassador John Herbst, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2003 to 2006, told Newsweek.“


@mumpskin OK, so you think Newsweek is a tabloid.

I think the focus of Russian operations now is the attempt to encircle the Ukrainian force stationed in the Donbass. Not Kiev. So I have this at 4%.

I expect Putin to stay in the Kremlin past 2030, but I put 25% here in case this question resolves before then.

There’s a pattern in Russia of periods of one-man rule being followed by shorter periods of struggle for power, when authority is diffuse. The person who gets the presidency after Putin may not be very important. He may not last long or be remembered by history. Eventually, 3, 5 or even 10 years after Putin someome is likely to consolidate the reins.

Questions that I think are interesting: Will Russia and Ukraine sign a peace agreement before April 1st? If a peace agreement is signed, when will that happen? If a pro-Russian government is declared in Ukraine, when will it happen and who will lead it? I’ve seen Medvedchuk, Murayev and Tsarev mentioned as possibilities. If the current Ukrainian government goes into exile, in which country will it be based? How many people will the next census show in the Russia-affiliated part of Ukraine? No census has been done in Ukraine since 2001. Population e...
@(nagolinc) The people who are now giving the 2/20/22 date (after the Olympics) gave the 12/25/21 date in December. If Russia isn’t finished massing troops now, how come these people were sure it would do it by last Christmas? I saw the Christmas prediction a few days before Christmas. So I guess those intel sources were sure everything was ready then? The US gov and associated journos predict this invasion every year. I don’t know why. Someone could be playing the market. It could be neuroticism. When they say there will be an invasion, it’s not usefu...

@SteadyasaRock In the go-in-then-leave scenario, which can be called the Georgia-08 option, Ukrainian commanders will have more incentive to fight. They’ll be trying to show their government that they stayed loyal during a crisis.

If, on the other hand, Ukrainian military commanders believe that Russia will stay, change the government in Kiev, enroll Ukraine in the Union State, there will be very few incentives for them to fight. There will be no one to try them for treason when the dust settles.