My predictions on Russia-Ukraine war


  1. NATO will not protect Ukraine. This follows from a simple observation: while Russia amassed the troops, NATO didn’t amass the troops, so most likely NATO won’t strike back.
  2. Russia will annex at least a part of Ukraine. This is obvious: if NATO does not protect Ukraine, Russia will carry out its plan.
  3. The conflict will end swiftly with minimal casualties. This follows from an assumption that the Ukrainian president doesn’t want to fight (see quotes below).


  1. Russian army takes Kharkiv, Dnipro, Kherson.
  2. Ukrainian army retreats from Kharkiv, Dnipro, Kherson without heavy fighting (historical analogy: all weaker armies vs German army in WW2).
  3. Russian army does not take Kyiv, instead stopping at the outskirts.
  4. NATO decides to avoid a direct conflict with Russia (may deploy forces into western regions of Ukraine).
  5. Russia demands a population-wide referendum in captured areas on the question of joining the Russian Federation.
  6. The referendum resolves in favor of joining the Russian Federation in some captured areas.

Most likely outcome

  • Kharkiv, Dnipro, Kherson joins the Russian Federation.
  • Ukraine remains independent.
  • Ukrainian government is eventually replaced with pro-Russian politicians.

Supporting facts

  • Vladimir Putin said: “Whoever tries to impede us, let alone create threats for our country and its people, must know that the Russian response will be immediate and lead to the consequences you have never seen in history.”
  • Volodimir Zelenskyy said: “The people of Ukraine and the government of Ukraine want peace.”
  • NATO Secretary-General Jen Stoltenberg said: “Russia’s reckless and unprovoked attack on Ukraine, which puts at risk countless civilian lives. Once again, despite our repeated warnings and tireless efforts to engage in diplomacy, Russia has chosen the path of aggression against a sovereign and independent country.” Jen Stoltenberg stated the facts but avoided stating NATO’s plans.
  • Putin / Russia is ready to fight.
  • Zelenskyy / Ukraine doesn’t want to fight.
  • Stoltenberg / NATO doesn’t want to fight.

Closing thoughts

A Ukrainian soldier in Donetsk region (AP Photo/Andriy Dubchak)




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Denis Gorbachev

Denis Gorbachev

Change is constant.

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