closes Dec 31
Will Ukraine have control over Crimea by the end of 2023

control defined as either the war is over and crimea is back as part of ukraine or over 50% of if is occupied by ukrainian forces as of close date. according to BBC news maps

Sep 14, 10:16pm: Will Ukraine have control over Crimea by the end of 2023 → Will Ukraine have control over Crimea by the end of 2023

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Mason avatar
GPT-PBotbought Ṁ10 of NO

Ukraine's grip on Crimea is tight,
But will they gain full control by right?
With Russia's stubbornness in sight,
It's hard to say who'll win the fight.

CharliePye avatar
Charlie Pyebought Ṁ100 of NO
Birger avatar
Birgeris predicting YES at 11%

This is undervalued. We will not know the strength difference in the war before the mud goes away and we see Ukraine make a true offensive. If they make an offensive at the start of summer and get to the Sea of Azov, they will likely be able to take Crimea by the end of the year as it could no longer be supplied properly.

NikitaSokolsky avatar
Nikita Sokolskybought Ṁ217 of NO

@Birger blocking military resupplies to Ukraine would require all of the following:

  1. Capture Mariupol blocking off the land bridge

  2. Destroy the Kerch bridge

  3. Establish naval superiority to prevent resupplies by sea

  4. Destroy the airport to prevent resupply by air

Especially #3 is extremely unlikely to happen so we can be certain that Ukraine will have to face Russia without the benefit of having cut-off their military supply chains.

Birger avatar
Birgeris predicting YES at 12%

@NikitaSokolsky counter

  1. I think it is likely to happen as the mud disappears and Ukraine gets the mobility advantage (they can pick where they want to strike faster than Russia can respond).

  2. The Kerch Bridge has already been hit, and every day they get better equipment. If it is needed, it is very likely they will get something to destroy it.

  3. They don't need naval superiority to disrupt shipping as there are not that many ships, and they are not easy to replace. And even if they don't, it is not easy to move millions of shells and liters of fuel by ferry.

  4. It is truly impossible to supply any front with air supply longer than a day or two, and the cost alone would bankrupt the state.

nr.3 is not necessary as they are interested in denial, not supplying their own troops.

AlQuinn avatar
Al Quinnis predicting NO at 12%

@Birger Russia loses Crimea this year only if there is a total collapse in the Russian military and/or a political crisis of sufficient severity that causes the Russian state to be incapable of issuing commands.

IvanK avatar
Ivan K.bought Ṁ100 of YES

@Birger I agree this is undervalued, just bought some YES shares. It's not that I believe that it will resolve to YES. I'm just quite sure the value will be much higher in several months, so I believe it's a profitable move :-)

NikitaSokolsky avatar
Nikita Sokolskybought Ṁ226 of NO

The odds of this resolving to YES are <1% in my opinion. The two sides have now reached a stalemate and taking back Crimea would require an enormous offensive, given that Russia spent the past 8 years preparing for a possible invasion from the Ukrainian side. Additionally there is a significant risk of Russia deciding to use nuclear weapons should the loss of Crimea become a serious prospect.

Defending territory is always significantly easier than capturing new territory, as evidenced by Russia's initial failure to capture Kiev in Feb/Mar 2022.

nickten avatar
nicktenis predicting YES at 15%

@NikitaSokolsky no "land bridge", no Kerch bridge, how are you gonna resupply Crimea?

NikitaSokolsky avatar
Nikita Sokolskyis predicting NO at 15%

@nickten Kerch bridge is still up and running. There's also ships and planes. I support Ukraine but objectively speaking they're not taking back Crimea this year.

AlQuinn avatar
Al Quinnis predicting NO at 15%

@NikitaSokolsky I would put the odds >1% (want to make a side-bet @ 100:1 odds?) but yeah, this would require a collapse of the Russian war effort (even Putin's ouster might not end the stalemate on this front)

SemioticRivalry avatar
Semiotic Rivalryis predicting NO at 11%

@NikitaSokolsky I would say around 2%. The geography of the Crimean peninsula is extremely defendable. Ukraine lacks the air and sea forces necessary to mount a credible retaking, they would have to mount a traditional land invasion. But Crimea has a tiny land connection to the mainland which is easily defendable. Ukraine would have to throw bodies at the Isthmus of Perekop which would cause a very high number of casualties

NikitaSokolsky avatar
Nikita Sokolskybought Ṁ189 of NO

@AlQuinn would prefer making a side bet in cash against someone on the bullish end, as that would be way more profitable for me.

NathanpmYoung avatar
Nathan Youngis predicting YES at 9%

@NikitaSokolsky What odds will you give me. People here can vouch that I'm good for it.

NikitaSokolsky avatar
Nikita Sokolskybought Ṁ2,500 of NO

@NathanpmYoung 1:15 odds but I don't have anyone vouching for me so I think it might not work logistically.

NathanpmYoung avatar
Nathan Youngis predicting YES at 12%

@NikitaSokolsky Naaah I trust you. I'll bet $10 you bet $150?

NikitaSokolsky avatar
Nikita Sokolskyis predicting NO at 12%

@NathanpmYoung Sounds good. Let's Venmo/Paypal/Zelle on Jan 1st 2024.

NathanpmYoung avatar
Nathan Youngis predicting YES at 18%

I think there is a 42% chance that Ukraine controls significant parts of Crimea by the end of the year. Please critique.

- They will start offensives when the muddy season ends (75%)

- They will take most of Zaporizhia before August (40%) or before October (70%)

- Then they take Crimea (42%)

Gabrielle avatar
Gabrielleis predicting YES at 18%

@NathanpmYoung I'm probably dumb, but how are you getting such a specific percentage? Is it based on math from your other two numbers, or is it just vibes?

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randallbought Ṁ0 of NO

@NathanpmYoung My critique takes the form of a NO limit order at 40%.

42irrationalist avatar
42irrationalistis predicting NO at 20%


1) Western government's would probably push against taking pre-2022 territories, especially Crimea.

2) AFAIK most weapon aid from western governments is going to arrive towards the end of this year.

This whole market is crazily optimistic, my chances of Crimea going back to Ukraine this year is 5%

NathanpmYoung avatar
Nathan Young

@Gabrielle It's based on some back of the envelope calcs. But also I don't think 2sf is particularly specific. If I thought 40 was low and 45 was high I might say 42 off the top of my head. At that point saying 40 or 45 would be inaccurate (though you might fairly say that I probably don't have 40 different levels of well calibrated confidence between 0 and 1 and you'd be right)

MarcusAbramovitch avatar
Marcus Abramovitchis predicting NO at 12%

@NathanpmYoung if you want to make a real money bet at 33% chance (2 to 1 odds), let me know.

MarcusAbramovitch avatar
Marcus Abramovitchsold Ṁ111 of NO

My real odds right now are around 20ish% and are concentrated (just over half) in worlds where the US basically joins Ukraine to invade Crimea, nearly launching a large war.

LucasGoldfein56b1 avatar
Lucas Goldfeinbought Ṁ40 of NO

@NathanpmYoung Odds of taking Crimea being >50% after taking Zaporizhia seems highly mistaken IMO.

I think the odds they make attempt to a push INTO Crimea may be less then 50%, but you have to half that again to say the odds of successfully taking the majority of Crimea. Putin will likely wager much more protecting Crimea then any part of Ukraine they've captured so far.

JonathanRay avatar
Jonathan Rayis predicting NO at 15%
JonathanRay avatar
Jonathan Raybought Ṁ0 of YES

true odds are 5% but the risk free rate for a year is also 5% so the market should be ~10%

jack avatar
Jackis predicting NO at 13%

@JonathanRay Risk free rate doesn't work that way on Manifold because of loans - you get most of your investment loaned back within several months, by 1 year you get almost all your capital back.

jack avatar
Jackbought Ṁ2,000 of NO

Also, that logic doesn't make it profitable to buy YES up to 10%... If you believe the true odds are 5%, then you lose mana in expectation, and you also lock up capital for a year! If the discount rate for mana were 5%, that would mean that you need the price to be 5% lower or higher than your true odds before it's worth it to invest.

jack avatar
Jackis predicting NO at 13%

Oh nvm, you are selling your NO position, so ignore my last comment. First comment still applies in general, but there are many situations where it certainly makes sense to sell to get the capital back. In this case, if you want to unload your shares to me I'd be happy to buy them.

JonathanRay avatar
Jonathan Rayis predicting NO at 16%

AlQuinn avatar
Al Quinnis predicting NO at 10%

This is finally priced reasonably

MartinModrak avatar
Martin Modrákbought Ṁ15 of NO

Should probably have larger separation from the 1 year longer outlook

Matto442 avatar
Matto442bought Ṁ30 of NO

20% for Crimea with 22% for 90% Donetsk and Luhansk seems like a bit of arbitrage and also a bit high.

CromlynGames avatar
Patrick Barryis predicting YES at 18%

@Matto442 big fields versus a fortified penisula used as a naval base.

Matto442 avatar
Matto442is predicting NO at 18%

@CromlynGames Yeah, I'm saying I think the gap should be larger than it was when I bet

DouglasCampbell avatar
Douglas Campbellis predicting NO at 23%

I'm a no on this. Blinken has said as well that Crimea isn't a US goal. I see it as a bargaining chip if Ukraine cuts the land bridge to end the war.

BTE avatar
Brian T. Edwardsis predicting YES at 23%

@DouglasCampbell I think the official White House position on this has evolved in the last 30-45 days to more accepting of the inevitability of a Crimea offensive this year. If they can blow the bridge completely its on...

DouglasCampbell avatar
Douglas Campbellis predicting NO at 23%

@BTE oh, I think they'll try very hard to hit the bridge again for sure after it's put back in operation in March. now they can strike anywhere on the land bridge, which should make the eastern half of Kherson at least somewhat challenging to supply.

DouglasCampbell avatar
Douglas Campbellis predicting NO at 21%

@BTE Interesting. Links? I didnt' read this Op-Ed but the reporting on it suggested Blinken did not support taking Crimea.

BTE avatar
Brian T. Edwardsis predicting YES at 21%

@DouglasCampbell I am sympathetic to that take. There is not a single Russian politico (from what I understand) who thinks Crimea is anything other than Russian. Even Navalny. Ukraine could probably take it but Putin would be forced by Russians to take it back at all costs which takes tactical nukes out of the realm of "is Putin going to escalate" and into the nightmare of "is Putin going to resist the demands of Russians that he escalate"? Crimea could well be the honeypot...

XiJinping avatar
Xi Jinping

@BTE Did someone say honey?

DouglasCampbell avatar
Douglas Campbellis predicting NO at 22%

@BTE For me, I think it is probably not super wise of Ukraine to retake Crimea. It is full of Russians at this point. It's a red line for Putin. If Ukraine takes it back Russia must attack it again in the future. Retaking it will also split the European allies. Poland & the Baltics might be on board but it's unlikely Germany or France would be as enthusiastic. The Ukrainians could threaten Crimea but offer to recognize it and maybe even give it water in return for peace and the ability to join the EU. That's an ideal scenario.

MartinRandall avatar
Martin Randallis predicting NO at 20%

@DouglasCampbell In a better world maybe Crimea would become independent.

thebest33 avatar
the best 33bought Ṁ10 of YES

Western allies are going to send 300+ tanks to ukraine. this should give ukraine better chances

EugenGrue avatar
Eugen Grueis predicting NO at 22%

@thebest33 300+? Self-plug: free mana at

thebest33 avatar
the best 33is predicting YES at 22%
thebest33 avatar
the best 33is predicting YES at 22%

my bad read the closing date wrong lmao but still news sources say 321 wil be the case. although CNN is the only link i provided multiple sources say this has been decided

EugenGrue avatar
Eugen Grueis predicting NO at 22%

@thebest33 I expect the promises to come through, mostly, maybe even get some extra!

Still, for now, the tanks are not yet delivered. Whether more or less...

xCrimson avatar
xCrimsonis predicting YES at 21%
NathanpmYoung avatar
Nathan Youngis predicting YES at 18%

Feels like Russia is ramping up a bit. If we carried on as currently I'd be more than 25%. But maybe this is right?

SemioticRivalry avatar
Semiotic Rivalryis predicting NO at 20%

@NathanpmYoung with conscription, Russia is going to have a significant numbers advantage in 2023. But more importantly, the logistical/geographical realities of retaking Crimea are extremely difficult. Ukraine does not have a real navy with which to project power into Crimea, they don't have anywhere near enough aircraft, and a land assault would have to go through the tiny and easily defensible bottleneck Isthmus of Perekop.

CromlynGames avatar
Patrick Barryis predicting YES at 15%
CromlynGames avatar
Patrick Barryis predicting YES at 15%

@PS this market is not limited to military force.

PS avatar
PSis predicting NO at 18%

@CromlynGames Definitely true. However, if Russia is unlikely to be prepared to give Crimea due to a military defeat, it's presumably also unlikely to give it up without one. I would guess that even regime change tomorrow wouldn't result in Crimea being returned to Ukraine within the year.

Svenbonne avatar
Svenbonnebought Ṁ25 of YES

With the new amount of high quality tanks, this seems much more likely!

ManifoldDream avatar
Manifold in the WildBot

Manifold in the wild: A Tweet by Urbi et Orbi

▶️Solo hay un 20 % de posibilidades de que Ucrania controle Donbas para 2024 ▶️solo un 10 % de que controle Sebastopol ▶️y solo un 28% de que Ucrania controle Crimea a finales de este año

MartinModrak avatar
Martin Modrákbought Ṁ20 of NO

IMHO highly unlikely. The Kharkiv counter offensive has seen Ukranians advance roughly 60 km. All other advances have been slower and more grinding. Even assuming Ukranians are able to force the Dnieper (which would be a huge, risky and costly undertaking), they'd still need to advance some 200km to reach something close to midpoint of Crimea (including the quite defensible Isthmus of Perekop) . It would be substantially longer distance if Dnieper crossing was not involved. So we are looking for at least 3x the biggest success so far, despite Russia mobilizing a lot of men and solving some of its problems in the meantime. So this market seems to me to be basically "will Russia's army completely collapse due to some black swan event". IMHO possible, but not roughly 1 in 3 chance.

PS avatar
PSis predicting NO at 29%

@MartinModrak In addition, Crimea is a much higher priority for Russia than even Donetsk/Luhansk. It is considered more important emotionally, strategically and from a PR/public opinion point of view.

NathanpmYoung avatar
Nathan Youngbought Ṁ74 of YES

@MartinModrak Do you think that the new tanks will make a difference here?

StanPinsent avatar
Stan Pinsentis predicting NO at 25%

@NathanpmYoung I largely buy @MartinModrak's take, & I think that tanks in the low numbers pledged so far are probably more powerful as a statement that US/UK/Germany/Poland are in this for the long run than as actual military asset.

MartinModrak avatar
Martin Modrákis predicting NO at 25%

@NathanpmYoung I am no military expert. From what I've heard from analysts I trust, tanks are just one (although likely somewhat more important) component of a vast array of needs for active offensive operations. Offensive capabilities will also be limited by e.g. lack of artillery (and likely also tank) ammo or barrel life and generally maintanence and spare parts availability. To me, the announced tanks seem as an incremental rather than revolutionary change and thus IMHO shouldn't move the assesment much.

MP avatar
MPis predicting NO at 25%

@MartinModrak They're fighting Russia, not a capable military, it's not like Russia itself is full of these weaponry too.

PS avatar
PSbought Ṁ0 of NO

@MP I don't think Russians are significantly lacking in tanks at the moment. The two major successful offensives Ukraine had were Kharkiv, where Russian forces were completely overextended, and Kherson, which was hard to defend due to the geography. I certainly hope there will be more Ukrainian successes, but I don't think they will come easily, certainly not in Crimea which has been under Russian control for almost a decade and should be well fortified by now.

SamuelRichardson avatar
Sambought Ṁ50 of YES

Going to lean a little harder into YES here. I feel like once winter has ended and all the new equipment they've been getting goes into play.... it's game on.

CromlynGames avatar
Patrick Barrybought Ṁ10 of YES

Thanks tanks tanks tanks

Ajuc00 avatar
Ajuć 00is predicting YES at 32%

I'm pretty optimistic about YES here, not 100% sure, but certainly above 32%. Reasons:
- after Kherson Ukraine controls drinking and farming water delivery to Crimea [100%]
- Ukraine gets new long-range missiles and drone already and it's likely they will get more in early 2023 - and half of Crimea is already in range of their current missiles from Kherson [80%]

- the Kerch bridge is still damaged and can't be used for mass supply of army in Crimea and will likely remain so till the end of 2023 at least [100%]

- Ukrain will likely try winter offensive in 2022/23 winter to break the land corridor between Crimea and Russia proper (either Melitopol, Mariupol or some other part) and I think they can do it [80%]

If all of these are true - Crimea will be cut off and impossible to supply. So this will be Kherson all over again, but on bigger scale and faster. Additionally Russia will have more pressure on ending the war because of continuing sanctions.

So I estimate the chances it to be around 64% by the end of 2023.

theservy avatar
Mad software developeris predicting NO at 34%

@Ajuc00 Losing Crimea would very likely be the end of Putin (~90% sure). Getting Crimea back was the thing that got his rating back on track in 2014, since a lot of the population was considering it "a historical injustice being fixed", so losing it would be a fatal blow to his "strong man in charge who gets things done" appeal. He might risk using tactical nuclear weapons to defend Crimea.

My point being is that currently it seems to be that either this market is too high at 32%, or "Putin stays in power" markets are too high:

Ajuc00 avatar
Ajuć 00is predicting YES at 34%

@theservy I am 50/50 about Putin losing power by end of 2023 and I disagree about the strict relationship between these. What's your mechanism for putin losing power if russia loses Crimea? Notice the definition "over 50% of if is occupied by ukrainian forces as of close date".

theservy avatar
Mad software developeris predicting NO at 35%

@Ajuc00 In my model, Putin cares about popular support (because he fears mass protests, a coup, etc.). The best explanation for why he started this war that I know of:

- His ratings were slowly falling, and people were no longer that impressed with "restoring historical justice" by taking Crimea in 2014. He was afraid for his future (presidential election in 2024, and possible mass protests if he fakes the results too much).

- Last time with Crimea, it went fantastic. So he wanted a quick campaign, to gain the support back by showcasing himself as a strong leader who is winning the geopolitics game, even if local things are mediocre.

Now, he wants to end this war with something that can be presented to the people as a success by the government media. "Liberating" Luganskaya oblast, and still holding Crimea would probably be enough if Ukraine accepted peace with such conditions. Every military action (like, bombing civilian infrastructure) has the goal of forcing Ukraine to consider negotiations.

Losing Crimea is not acceptable to his goal. If that happens, unless he has a reasonable chance of recapturing it very shortly, I mostly expect him to cut losses, appoint a successor (like Yeltsin did), and hope that the successor holds his word, so Putin can die of old age in solitude. Though, he understands that so he will do whatever it takes to avoid losing Crimea in the first place, including sacrificing a shit-ton of soldiers and/or using tactical nukes.

Ajuc00 avatar
Ajuć 00is predicting YES at 32%

@theservy russia is a totalitarian dictatorship, with the population trained for centuries to be passive and go along. Putin don't need to care about support, in fact he is repeatedly sacrificing popular support to get more toys in Ukraine, not the other way around. See the mobilization for one example, but there are more policies that do this trade.

When Putin loses power it will be because FSB decided somebody else will serve their interests better (just like they did with replacing Yeltsin with Putin in 2000), not because of popular support figures going down. In some ways a leader with worse popular support can be beneficial to FSB (because it means they have more influence and less obstacles to their power).

So - if the war is lost - weak putin might be just what FSB needed to get the reforms done. If the war is won and putin is doing cleansings in the army and security services - FSB might need to replace him despite the victory. There are factors going both ways there.

Kremlinology is very counterintuitive, because any coup that has a chance of working is by definition a surprise to the ruler. So it must be a surprise to foreign observers.

As for Ukraine accepting territorial concessions to Russia - no way this happens when everybody in Ukraine thinks they are winning (as is the case now). Ukraine is ultimately a democracy with a very strong low-level activism and participation. They don't do so well with corruption, but they are very good at replacing governments that disappointed them. Succeeded 2 times in last 20 years. In contrast to Putin - Zelensky can't ignore popular support, so he won't accept any concessions as long as Ukrainians have a chance. And right now they all think they are winning this no problem.

theservy avatar
Mad software developeris predicting NO at 32%

@Ajuc00 There are hints that make me think that he cares. Mobilisation is "partial", downplayed by the govt media, and was introduced very late, only when it became absolutely obvious that without it the only outcome is a lost war. A lost war is way worse then "partial" mobilisation, so the tradeoff seem consistent with him maximizing popular support to stay in power. Surely, if he didn't care about public opinion, the correct move would have been to start mobilisation in April, once it became clear that the initial plan is doomed beyond salvation.

After reading your replies, I think I should update my estimate of "Putin stays in power for at least one more year after Crimea is lost" to consider it to be more likely, thanks.

Would you bet in the market below I just created? What is your estimate for its pprobability?

ahalekelly avatar
Adrianis predicting NO at 28%

@theservy "Losing Crimea would very likely be the end of Putin (~90% sure)."
That's a very strong assertion. I just made a market for it

CromlynGames avatar
Patrick Barryis predicting YES at 27%

@theservy and @ahalekelly - The odds both feel right, and they can be reconciled if there's a bit of slippage in the series of events.
1) Russia looses control of Crimea (but tries to get it back for months)
2) Loss of Crimea impacts Putin's rep, but the state apparatus is so corrupt and reliant on status quo the election returns him anyway
3) Loss of Crimea forces Putin out, but it's after the election and more of a putsch/handover kind of deal, and due to the lag, occurs after 2024

BenjaminIkuta avatar
Benjamin Ikuta

Seems hard, no?

SamuelRichardson avatar
Samis predicting YES at 30%

@BenjaminIkuta Not looking likely huh. Winter seems to have really slowed things down a lot, which is understandable.

citrinitas avatar
Antonbought Ṁ16 of YES