In case you have not already noticed, I have been 100% blue-pilled by Polymarket due to the fact that they are offering absolutely fascinating lines on how the Ukraine war will unfold.
No, I am not talking about how many people will die, or if Vlad Putin will turn out to be a space alien who was sent to earth to build a starship powered by human blood. I am talking about questions like this one that address the issue of — WTF is actually going on???
WILL RUSSIA ANNEX ANY REGIONS OF UKRAINE?
Let me translate: this is a betting market’s way of asking — WHAT IS THE DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION?
Remember, “diplomacy” is a fancy word for “negotiation.” And to settle a negotiation, you gotta give a little to get a little.
In this case — in a deal brokered through Israel — Putin is offering to GIVE Ukraine peace (lol) in exchange for GETTING a few territories that his army is currently terrorizing.
How’s that for a shakedown?
SO, WILL UKRAINE ACCEPT THE TERMS?
This market is a proxy for whether or not the war will end with anything other than an unconditional Russian surrender (unlikely). Because a negotiated settlement will almost certainly include a transfer of lands in Donbast, Luhansk, Crimea, etc to Russia and therefore, and this would amount to an expansion of federal subjects.
It’s hard to find an advantage in this market since wars are notoriously opaque and the decision is ultimately Zelenskyy’s alone.
The safer place to bet is on whether or not he will retain power for the next month or so. It’s an absolute dunker. You can learn about the winning side here.