Bryan Caplan  

What Happened in Ukraine

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A year ago I challenged EconLog readers to make unconditional predictions about the Ukraine conflict:
Challenge: In the comments, go on the record and predict what will actually come of the emerging Ukrainian-Russian conflict.  Only unconditional, falsifiable predictions count.  No claims like: "Unless the EU acts..." "If Russia comes to its senses..." or "This will be a very different world."  Make specific claims about what will actually happen by a specific date.

In a year I'll revisit your comments and rank their accuracy with the benefit of hindsight.
Before I carry out the promised ranking, this is what's actually seems to have happened:

Anyone seriously dispute any of these facts?  Any major facts I'm omitting?

COMMENTS (5 to date)
Ray Lopez writes:

From the time of the annexation on 21 March 2014, Russia has de facto administered the territory as two federal subjects— the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol[3] – within the Crimean Federal District.

De factor annexation is not de jure. It makes a difference, akin to the fact Turkish Cyprus is de facto a part of Turkey but not de jure. Also Western Sahara and other countries ( would fall under this legal rubric.

Mike Subin writes:

Okay so these are my predictions for the next 12 months.

1- The New Russia will grow to take Mariupol and create the land bridge to the Crimea.

2- Western Ukraine will start moving towards civil war between the different factions yes the private Nazi armies will come back to bit the government in the behind.

3- The West will do nothing because to do so will lead us to nuclear war and they have no real strategic interest in Ukraine besides trying to harm Russia.

4- The EU will be significantly weekend due to these events and Grease will leave the Euro and the Zone as a whole which will lead to others moving in that way.

5- Germany and France will get much closer and there relationship to the US will be seriously weekend. They will both begin the long Journey to eventually becoming allies with Russia. Germany has no choose in the end there economy needs the east not the US for both markets and raw materials.

6- NATO will become a very hollow alliance that will exist mostly in name only.

That is what the US gets for over extending themselves. They cannot create there own reality and the other big players in the world are done with them and there dollar which is only held in place by oil and war. The Empire has simply over played its hand and know will face some very serious problems.

I hope thous are specific enough predictions. If they don't all happen by the end of 12 months I believe they will all be well on there way.

Miguel Madeira writes:

"De factor annexation is not de jure. It makes a difference, akin to the fact Turkish Cyprus is de facto a part of Turkey but not de jure."

From the Russian point of view, the anexation is de facto and de jure (unlike what happens in Turkish Cyprus, where Turkey does not claim soveregnity over the territory, instead condifering it an independent country)

Ed Hanson writes:


You asked, "Any major facts I'm omitting?"

Yes, probably dozens or hundreds depending on your definition of a 'major' fact. But that is because none of us, no matter how close we follow the news, are privy to what is really going on.

But one major fact we do know you did leave out of list of what has happened; the shooting down of Malaysia flight 17 by a sophisticated Russian surface to air missile almost certainly manned by Russians.


John F. Opie writes:

You're missing the Russian use of propaganda, black and white, aimed at weakening the Ukrainians severely. That and covert operations outside of the "occupied" territories aimed at increasing the fog of war. All infinitely deniable in the best Soviet disinformation manner...

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