We really need a logarithmic scale on this. 1% in about 3 months is way too high.

@tryingToPredictFuture Yep. He didn't do anything for like 48 hours and then did a moderate conventional retort. Even now, he's framing it as a "we could do this all day but we won't if you keep it in the theater." Kadyrov is also saying he's totally happy with this and isn't braying for even more escalation.

That implies he has a lot of room to maneuver and is not totally backed into the corner just yet.

@withoutborders Using a nuclear weapon on NATO soil seems unimaginably stupid. The US would have to react as if they used a nuclear weapon on their soil. Only one way that possibly ends. I could see them doing it in Ukraine, if it happens. NATO is essentially no-go because the escalation potential is infinite.

@(withoutborders) Why would NATO back down? They have to do more than a minor conventional response or NATO might as well not exist. Deterrence breaks down if the US won't use its nuclear capacity to stop actual Russian nuclear use. I think the response would be conventional, according to US military strategists they do not want to give Russia a reason to go to full strategic exchange, but it would be overwhelming/surgical to take out Russian command and control. Still, why risk it? If you attack Ukraine, you don't invite the US to respond with nuclear f...

Doubt it. Even if they did it, no. Some signs are coming out it was an errant Ukraine air defense missile, but Ukraine will never say it shot its ally and killed a couple civilians. They'll just let it blow over and forget about it if it was actually Ukrainian.

The deadline is the only reason I'm this low. I think, in the end, Ukraine is going to have to recognize at least one of these as Russian/independent or this war will simply never end. Crimea seems the most likely or easiest for them to give away since they already don't have it. Trading Crimea for a security guarantee with someone else or membership in the EU seems like the easiest way out.

Them doing it by Dec. 31, 2023 is the part I find unlikely. Reality hasn't set in.

@Grogu-Daveinsea Still, when you have a streak of 925 months with no nuclear weapons used in warfare, your baseline rate should be ~.1% chance per month. Even if you want to discount everything between September 91 (collapse of the Soviet Union/de-alerting of US bombers) and January 22 (just before this war) as essentially zero risk, that's still 561 months, so like .2% a month.

Really not useful to predict on this short a timescale.

The DNR and LNR are going to have referendums to join Russia within a couple weeks. This likely slows down, if not stop, a Ukrainian advance because Russia will bring out nuclear threats to defend their sovereign territory. https://meduza.io/en/news/2022/09/19/dnr-and-…

Going down to 80% given the news of Donetsk/Luhansk joining Russia and Russia's stated intent to defend its territory with nuclear force.

@(EvanHarper) You need more than just telling the ambassador "hey, stop it" because a missile overflew your airspace to take back territory. There aren't even that many Russian soldiers there, but Moldova's military is so tiny that it can't realistically win that fight and the whole country would likely get invaded by Russia, especially when they're already in Ukraine. Moldova has also not controlled that area for one single day since it got independence from the Soviet Union, so it's not exactly a Crimea situation either. I don't see it happening barri...
@(EvanHarper) The simple fact they're saying wait on Crimea, and that the US will likely push Ukraine to capture land it lost since February first, means this will not happen by the deadline, if ever. The US and NATO have been very careful about escalation risk and Sevastopol is about the last redoubt Russia has. If they ever go nuclear, it would be about keeping the base in Sevastopol. It's also the last thing Putin can cling to as a face-saving way out or minor victory to his people. On top of that, Ukraine is not recapturing land quickly enough that...

@randallburns I haven't even heard a vague rumor of this happening. NK kind of has its own problems. They can't be fighting some battle for Russia.

@QI92756340QI Neat and cool but I have no idea why you think this is likely to happen, especially before 2024. You post the most doom-saying takes on any question, and I have to wonder why. It's not for Metaculus points.

@(tryingToPredictFuture) Just in the past week or two, you have several officials in Russia including Putin saying that they are not planning to use nuclear weapons and see no advantage to using them. You could call that lying, but they also could say nothing or even amplify the threat with vague allusions like "I fear we are crossing the point of no return" or "NATO is intent on the destruction of the Russian state and is leaving us no good options." The talk of a dirty bomb has also dried up since Shoigu's calls on Oct. 23. Again, I'm not sure why you...

@thundercat One, it seems like there will be conventional urban warfare there soon. Two, they may blow the dam at Nova Khakova, which would cause damage to Kherson.

Many reasons why someone would want to get out of Kherson other than "imminent nuclear use".

Even with candidacy, this can take a long time. Turkey has been a candidate for 23 years and still isn't cleared. North Macedonia/Montenegro are also not members yet despite being in NATO now.

Moved up to 6% from 1%. I thought this thing was calming down and sputtering out but it appears NATO is trying to arm Ukraine for a spring offensive. That and that NYT article saying the US is okay with them charging Crimea means I'm going up.

Only good news is Germany is still being cautious not to escalate this.

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@(ForkLeaf) I don't buy that the risk now is higher than it was in the early brinksmanship era or the early Reagan years with moving Pershing IIs into Europe or Able Archer making the Soviets nervous. For one, we really aren't seeing the same sort of behavior or headlines as you saw at those times. For another, neither side has their bombers on permanent patrol as both did until the end of the Cold War. The bombs aren't mated to the bombers like they were then. You might convince me it's the *same* as the 1950s/early 80s, but not higher. I think your 92...

Moving up to 90% because we haven't seen direct movement of nuclear weapons for use. Some uncertainty over 2023 is priced in there.

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