It turns out that the guy who kept posting that you need to read Putin's essay was right, lol.

@ersatz lol they were at 17% a few days ago and I got some flak for saying that they were simply wrong.

@BrunoYammine I am firmly on the team that he is going to invade, but them deploying and then retracting a pontoon bridge is not huge news lol. The whole point of pontoon bridges is that they can be put up and taken down very quickly. I don't claim to know why they put it up or what they did with it but I do not believe that the Russian invasion is dependent on this single pontoon bridge. And I don't understand why this one bridge is getting so much more media attention than literally everything else.

I like how the US intelligence told you that all of this was going to happen back in November but many of you still don't see how this is leading up to what they've been telling you it's leading up to for three straight months.

This is the first thread that I've been seriously involved in on Metaculus and I have to say that there is one thing that I am surprised by. The comment section, and people's predictions, seem to be based primarily on people's interpretations of what Putin might want, how he sees the world, reading the tea leaves of diplomacy that is destined to fail, etc... What is being done much less is analysis of the plethora of open source intelligence showing the troop buildup on Ukraine's borders. And here's why that matters. If you view this as a game of inter...

After three months of watching this closely, sometimes at a microscopic level, the only thing that I have left to add is that I hope that I'm wrong.

The videos from both the LPR and DPR ordering evacuations were actually recorded on Feb. 16, the day that the Biden Administration initially warned was a possible "go day."…

I'm honestly sick to my stomach. I have spent two months monitoring this and in the comments here saying I thought they would invade. The whole time I hoped I was wrong. I'm not trying to make it about me and my feelings but I am honestly devastated right now. I know there are so many others in a position that is 1000000x worse mine. I am so, so, so sorry.

@BrunoYammine No of course it does not. But many people seem to delight in saying, "see the US is wrong" with each day that goes by without a Russian invasion. But with each day that goes by the Russians add more troops and the tensions/fighting in Donbas gets more intense. So I don't really understand the rush to point and laugh at American intelligence when the Russians have shown no signs that they don't plan to invade.

The Russians can end all of this and prove the Americans wrong by simply withdrawing, and yet they're doing the opposite.

There's been a lot of attention paid to some fairly meaningless comments made by Putin today, and much less attention paid to the fact that the Duma voted to ask Putin to recognize parts of Eastern Ukraine that are currently controlled by Ukraine, including major cities, as independent regions that need protection from big brother Russia.

Seems like a big deal >The Russian military is closing the Black and Azov Seas for missile and artillery exercises from February 13 to 19, said Andriy Klimenko , project manager at the Black Sea Institute for Strategic Studies . >" We do not want any panic, but it is very similar to preparing for something like a" sea blockade "of Ukrainian ports. Which we have been warning about for 2 years ... It must be stopped. At the highest international level. And there is no need to panic because when the word "blockade" the shipowners will be the first to cha...

This is a better proxy for a total Ukrainian loss than the Zelensky question is. The only scenario in which this happens is one in which the eastern half of the country has already capitulated. I think 20% is good for now.

@mishasamin But people certainly would have made better predictions if they understood it to be what Putin literally believes instead of projecting their own views of rationality onto him!

@mackbjon The reason why the odds went up after the US/UK statements is because even if your premise is true (and I agree with it), we did not know what decisions had been made. So even if the US statements lower the odds of an invasion they raise our confidence that the decision to invade has been made.

Public Prediction Alert:

Former commander U.S. Army in Europe Ben Hodges⁩ puts chances of #Russia invasion of #Ukraine at 90 per cent now. A virtual certainty.

He goes on to say that all of the pieces are coming into play and he expects an invasion, though not of a full-scale, to begin around Feb. 20.

I have been at 90% since Feb. 5 (and was at 85% for about a couple of weeks prior to that).…

— edited by mumpskin

@(Tilter) Zero, and I mean ZERO build-ups have been similar to what we're seeing now. There have been other build-ups but not a single one matched this one in size, scope, or sophistication. In not a single one did we see the same type of equipment, the breadth of geographical scope (all along the border, in Belarus, in Crimea, movements in Transnistria) or this type of political climate in which Putin was making insane demands. >Russia believes in rapid, ambiguous, hybrid war where it's either too late for NATO to react or too ambiguous to work out wha...
My prediction is now 80%. Between the massive buildup of forces on the border, today's announcement of Russian military arriving for "drills" in southern Belarus, the list of demands designed to fail, and last night's news that Russia has been quietly evacuating its embassies and consulates in Ukraine, it is now abundantly clear that we are right on the brink. Does this mean that Russia will do it? I don't know. But do I think that 4/5 of similar buildups have resulted in war? Yeah, probably. This may still be a bluff/leverage but at this point I think ...

@tryingToPredictFuture lol as much as I agree with you that the essay is essential reading, I think the upwards curve is because he keeps sending massive amounts of troops to the border.