Will Abrams tanks be deployed in combat in Ukraine by the end of 2023?
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resolved Dec 31
Resolved
NO

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predicted YES

They might not have a choice but to deploy at least a few with no other military aid forthcoming for at least another few weeks.

predicted YES

Sure this has been dissected by others, but when the headline is Abram’s tanks deployed on the frontline. I don’t know what other proof you’d need. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2023/11/27/american-abrams-tanks-deployed-to-ukraines-frontline/

predicted YES

@TonyBaloney Like, I get the combat argument. But where would that proof come from? There’s not going to be an article talking about exactly where and how the Ukrainian army is deploying these tanks in combat.

predicted YES

@TonyBaloney The frontlines means where the combat is occurring right? Am I taking crazy pills?

bought Ṁ45 of NO

@TonyBaloney I mean, sometimes the media is wrong, or they write headlines that overstate things. Plenty of newspapers were saying that Sam Altman was CEO of OpenAI again, even though he wasn't (or at least, there wasn't any news that he was, until a week later). You have to actually read them and see what their evidence is.

The photo in question isn't claimed to be at the front lines, and the other photo mentioned (but not shown) which is claimed (by Russian telegram channels) to be in eastern Ukraine isn't shown, isn't verified, and is described by others as not looking like a combat-ready tank, or eastern Ukraine.

They're just reporting on what's on telegram, and despite their headline, they disclaim that:

The Telegraph could not immediately verify the claims."

An article that cites some authority (Ukrainian military) or some better evidence than that would be fine!

Edit: I'll assemble the evidence we have in a separate comment. All in all, there are three photos, none of which appear to show a combat-ready tank in Ukraine, and only one of which is claimed to, by a (Russian) source on telegram whose claims can't be verified.

predicted YES

sure. all points well taken. and this is a case of where maybe the rules of the market resolution could have been crafted better so as to reduce any possible ambiguity. my point is that once there are photos and and reports of the tanks being on the front line, my sense is that the onus is on "no" to show why this doesn't count. there are a lot of good reasons why we wouldn't see videos of the tanks actually fighting, or here reports from the Ukrainian military about where the the tanks are and what there current capabilities at present are. If troops in combat have the tanks, the tanks have been deployed in combat. They are a clear target and an asset to the Ukrainian military, specifically the troops in combat.

bought Ṁ100 of NO

@TonyBaloney Well I think that's quite backwards, anyone can write anything and show any old photo of a tank and claim it's whatever they want, all claims should be considered unconvincing until shown otherwise, not the other way around.

Nonetheless when I get around to it I'll compile the three or so photos and find their original sources of the claims attached to them, and lay out what we know about them, to hopefully convince people that they are not much evidence of anything relevant to resolving this market.

If troops in combat have the tanks, the tanks have been deployed in combat

I agree with this! But we don't have much in the way of evidence that troops in combat have the tanks.

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington anyone can write anything

Thats getting a little solipsistic, no? I mean, yes, we will never know that the tanks are in Ukraine without physically checking because anyone can write anything. But once the delivery of tanks has been confirmed by everyone, and there have been glimpses of the tanks on the frontlines , it stands to reason that they’re there. It also makes sense why the govts wouldn’t want to publicize their exact location and whereabouts.

predicted NO

@TonyBaloney it's entirely unsupported that there have been glimpses of them on the frontlines. The only photo claimed to be anywhere near combat has people saying flat that it's not a photo of eastern Ukraine, let alone this time of year, let alone of a combat-ready tank.

We have experts saying they don't expect the tanks to be deployed before spring, and have had better evidence about deployment of other equipment in the past, it's not at all true that evidence would be this scarce if the tanks were actually in active service.

FWIW it's not the case that I believe the tanks are in active service and am merely arguing for a NO based on the evidence not technically in some sense meeting the standard needed for resolution. I don't believe the tanks are in active service at all. If we were somehow expecting to get full, reliable knowledge of the situation come end of year, I'd still be betting NO.

bought Ṁ50 of NO

@BTE do you think the current evidence is sufficient, or not?

(I do not)


If you do, you should resolve this question rather than continue to bet on it.

(I hope you don't do this and will complain loudly if you do)

If you don't, I'd ask that you confirm that you won't resolve YES on the evidence thus far, so that I can bet against you with confidence.

predicted NO

@chrisjbillington I would not bet in future BTE war markets if he considered being in Ukraine to be deployed in combat. Besides, there’s an entire month for it to actually be deployed and the BI article to be wrong!

predicted YES

@Panfilo If they are targeted by Russia now that they are being publicized would that change anything?

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington I mean, I haven’t resolved it so no. I definitely do not think a photo of one on the frontlines is necessary to resolve YES. I am planning on waiting until the end of the year to review the evidence. May also outsource final resolution or ask 1-2 others to help me resolve this and other complicated markets that resolve at the end of the year. Cool?

predicted NO

@BTE I would understand a Yes resolution if we had clear evidence that combat came to an active Abrams, though not if they missiled an empty one while they were in storage.

predicted YES

@Panfilo I completely disagree. This is about the vehicle, not the passengers.

bought Ṁ100 of NO

@BTE "deployed". Storage isn't deployment. They need to have been deployed at some point, bombing a storage facility containing idle tanks is not at all consistent with your title.

Given the option of outsourcing resolution is there, I'm happy to bet over what happens in the next month. I agree we don't need to see a photo of tanks on the frontlines, we just need to have some good source telling us that they were deployed in combat.

predicted NO

@BTE If a cartel member blows up an Abrams at the mass storage facility in the southwest, no normal person would say that Abrams was “deployed in combat in the drug war”.

predicted YES

@Panfilo but the Ukrainians ARE saying its deployed in combat so that is not a good example.

bought Ṁ100 of NO

@BTE Source?

bought Ṁ100 of YES

looks like this has definitely happened. Why did so many bet it down?

bought Ṁ500 of NO

@BTE This is the same image that was discussed two weeks ago. This is the only source for the Forbes piece

bought Ṁ110 of NO

@BTE This is the same image posted below, it's not verified where or when it was taken, some on reddit have commented that the tank is devoid of equipment that would be present if it were in active service, and the claimed location is not an active battlezone.

"Combat" as specified in this market is a higher bar than "present" If it is true that the tank is in Kupiansk.

Edit: sorry, no the Forbes article is an older photo still - I thought it was one of the more recent ones discussed here in recent days. Nonetheless, no evidence of them being used in combat yet.

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington I need to see a good argument for why they wouldn’t deploy them in combat if they are in Ukraine. It makes no sense to have them there and not use them. Russia can target them so that is combat.

predicted NO

@BTE

Russia can target them so that is combat.

I mean that depends exactly where they are, which we don't know. "Near Kupiansk" doesn't particularly mean "able to be targeted by Russia", except in the sense that anything in Ukraine could in principle be targeted, including training camps.

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington Exactly. The entirety of Ukraine is a battlefield.

predicted NO

@BTE Why did you specify "deployed in combat" then, when you already said "in Ukraine" in the title?

The extra specification there suggests you did not consider tanks in Ukraine full stop to be sufficient to resolve the market, or the title would simply have been "Will Abrams tanks be deployed in combat in Ukraine by the end of 2023?" and would have resolved some weeks ago.

But regardless:

The entirety of Ukraine is a battlefield.

Nice attempt at bullet-biting, but this is false in any reasonable sense.

predicted YES

@chrisjbillington I agree, "deployed in combat in" and "present in" Ukraine are really not the same thing. Ukraine is larger than California and France. Not all of it is a combat zone. We need more info.

predicted NO

@BTE Anybody conducting training or rear transportation exercises would disagree with the assertion that they were currently deployed in combat.