Who are the best Ukraine predictors?

Here is a new reader request:

– Which kinds of people are likely to be best able to predict how events in Ukraine will unfold? Ukrainians? Political scientists? Superforecasters?

I have to go with the superforecasters, but that said, I wish for them to have the following training:

1. Have visited Ukraine and Russia, as many times as possible.

2. Have Ukrainian and Russian friends.

3. Well-read in Russian literature, and a sense of how imperialistic so many of the Russian intellectuals and writers have been.

4. Some understanding of how the KGB perspective in Russia differs from the views of the military, all as it might reflect upon Putin and his decisions.

5. Well-read in the general history of war, in addition to the history of the region.

I am not sure you want actual Ukrainians or Russians, who tend to be insightful but highly biased.  It is noteworthy to me that Kamil Galeev, who has had a good predictive record, is from Russia but is a Tatar rather than an ethnic Russian or Ukrainian.  I would downgrade anyone, as a forecaster, who took “too much” interest in the Russia/Trump issue.  They might be too skewed toward understanding events in terms of U.S. domestic politics.  Overall, would you do better taking Estonians or professional political scientists on this one?  I am not so sure.


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