Will there be mass protests in Russia in 2024?
resolved Mar 2

The criteria for resolution are:

  • There has to be a mass gathering presenting grievances against authorities. It does not have to be directed explicitly against Putin or the current regime. The causes might be regional or national, related to economics, the upcoming presidential elections, the war in Ukraine, or anything else.

  • The gathering has to have at least 10,000 participants (for comparison: the 2014 protests against the annexation of Crimea are estimated to have had 30,000 participants, the 2011-12 Bolotnaya Square election protests up to 150,000). Alternatively, three protests on the same issue of at least 1,000 participants each in different cities within a month would count. I'll use independent media estimates if possible, and be generous with the interpretation in case of doubt.

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People attending a funeral is not a ‘mass protest’. What the hell.

@Bart5f6d I gave a 2 star rating

@Bart5f6d @RemNi Do you disagree with resolution criteria?

@gabagool4eva I disagree with the resolution

@RemNi If you agree with the resolution criteria, which part wasn’t fulfilled?

@Bart5f6d @RemNi

You (along with some others) have been criticizing the resolution for a while now, and I have been explaining myself, which is how it should be given it was my market. Let me criticize you back, though.

As far as I see, all your criticism was based on your opinion that my interpretation of "mass protests" was wrong. First, I disagree with that. I think resolution criteria you proposed like "Wikipedia uses the term 'mass protests'" or "The protests are listed on the Carnegie tracker" are perfectly valid; however, those are not necessarily aligned, and I think there are many more interpretations of "mass protests" which are possible.

Secondly, and more importantly, I think this criticism is misplaced. Now, I might be wrong, but I get the feeling that you (and many others of those who disagreed with the resolution or gave me a one-star rating) bet on this market based solely on the title. I do think "mass protest" has loads of different interpretations, as evidenced by the discussion here. Thus, the title in itself could mean many different things. But that's the case for almost any title! And I think it's completely OK. In fact, that's why there are market descriptions. And it's why, when making a market, I think about how to formalize the resolution criteria and make them as objective as possible, and write them down for all to see.

So, if you disagree with my resolution criteria, that's fine. You can point out to me that you think they should be different. But it makes sense to do that before you bet. Or you can just not bet at all if you think the criteria are not sensible. But I think that ignoring the market description and then complaining that it's not what you would have done, or not what you expected, is not really the way to go.

@PS I have not been "criticizing the resolution for a while now", I gave a 2 star rating because it was a misresolution: a funeral is not a protest.

I don't think you're acting on bad faith, people make mistakes and that's ok. Case closed.

@RemNi Do you think there was a mass gathering of people? If so, do you think a large number of them presented grievances?

@PS Some of them yes. Most of them were just there for the funeral and stayed silent.

If that has turned into a mass protest then sure I'd agree with this resolution. But that wasn't a mass protest, that was a funeral procession with few people shouting slogans

@PS here's what a real protest looks like for reference: https://youtu.be/NcDDsr0KATQ?si=dZzVS9UYAkd2eUpv

@RemNi Well, I disagree with the "few" part, I think many people shouted slogans. And while what you link to is certainly a protest, I don't see how that's relevant. This is a protest as well:

But, once again, you keep going back to the term "mass protest", and that's not the resolution criterion, it's a general term. The resolution criteria are in the description.

@RemNi Most people are silent in this reference video too

@PS right, but obviously it doesn't make sense, as others have pointed out. You could have a issue at an airport and end up with a "mass gathering" of 10k people. Based on what you're saying if a few of them shouted slogans you would consider that as sufficient to resolve this question as YES, which is clearly nonsense.

Anyway I've submitted my rating for reasons that are consistent and clearly explained. I don't think you're acting on bad faith, just seem to be struggling with criticism, which is also okay. Don't see much value in continuing this discussion on my end. Good luck with your next questions!

Resolving this "yes" based on the Navalny funeral.

  • The funeral was not formally a protest, but it certainly contained "grievances against the authorities", as the people chanted anything from "Russia without Putin" to "No to war".

  • The estimates of the number of people vary from "thousands" to "tens of thousands", the latter estimate i.a. from Meduza and the journalist Elena Milashina (quoted in the NYT). While I'm still not convinced there were 10,000 protesters, I said in the description I would be "generous with the interpretation in case of doubt", and so this counts.

If you're interested, I've created a new, identical market on whether there will be more protests:

@PS those are some weak ass mass protests

@PS I poured my entire net worth in this question yesterday. People were paying their respects, they were not carrying signs. Anyone protesting would have gotten arrested, instead there were fewer than 50 arrests. Ambasadors to countries including France, Germany and the Netherlands attended the funeral. Do you really think it would be appropiate for an ambasador to join a protest?!

@Bart5f6d well you can't legally protest in Russia now. Conspicuously attending a funeral is legal and hard to arrest people for! Isn't it convenient.

Reportedly, there were pro-Navalny and anti-war chants going. Sounds protest-y.

@PS A funeral is not a protest. Even if some people attending the funeral protest, not all of them can be counted as protesting. In this case, it seems the majority were not protesting.

This is similar to hearing some protest chants at a football stadium and counting the whole stadium for the “protest”.

@Santiago yeah I agree with that assessment

@Santiago A football game is not the same as a funeral of the most important opposition leader who was killed by the regime. In current political environment in Russia, attending such event is a form of protest in itself IMO.

@roma still weak af

@Bart5f6d I thought about it some more and with the definion “a mass gathering presenting grievances against authorities” the funeral can be marked a “protest”. But by this definition ANY gathering that presents ANY grievances against authorities can be labelled a protest, even those gatherings were this is the main purpose of the gathering.

@Bart5f6d Thanks to everyone for the discussion. A couple of points:

I'm sorry if the "protest" in the title was misleading. I try to write detailed descriptions for my markets where I explain what the resolution will be based on, and try to answer any arising questions.

I watched large parts of the event on March 1. I did not think of it as a potential protest until it was brought up in the comments here. However, after some thinking, I leaned towards the position that it qualifies.

  • The funeral was not declared as a protest, but then, it could not have been. No protests are allowed in Russia by now, and certainly not ones in favor of a person labeled a criminal and an extremist.

  • Even as it was, the participants have run significant risks just for turning up, as witnessed by the massive police presence well before the funeral started. However, while I think being there was an act of protest, I don't think this made the funeral itself a protest (or "presenting grievances against the authorities") yet.

  • There were a few posters and signs, but not enough to make it a protest, either.

  • It were indeed the chants that convinced me; they occurred all through the event (that is, over several hours), in many different places, and, to judge from the footage, were picked up by a significant number of people. They ranged from the relatively innocuous ("Navalny", although even that name has been deemed a criminal offense in several recent cases) to the clearly illegal ("No to war", "Putin is a murderer"). To me, that tipped the balance.

One thing I regret is that, while I waited for any relevant comments in the discussion, I could have given it more time than the ~20 hours. It wouldn't have hurt to wait a day or two.

@Santiago Actually, the football game is not a bad analogy. In Germany, there have been protests over an investor rule. The details are not really important, but many fans didn't like it. Now, if there were chants against the proposed rule among the 50k fans in the Dortmund stadium, I wouldn't call that a protest. However, if 10k fans made a point of instead showing up at an amateur game, where the attendance is usually just a hundred people, and chanted there, I would indeed tend to see it as a protest.

And one more:

Do you really think it would be appropiate for an ambasador to join a protest?!

Western diplomats visited the Euromaidan in 2013/14, for example.

An additional point l, although a superficial one - Russian opposition itself counts this as a protest, not just as a funeral