Stories from...Ukraine, mostly
From reading your thoughts regularly I think your (and most certainly my own) skepticism may have been in part due to the repeated and loud cries of imminent Russian action, which went on for weeks and weeks and became a bit of a cry wolf situation. Of course this was always possible, but when one says it's going to happen over and over again and it doesn't exactly pan out on the timeline one was emphasizing, it's hard for outsiders to make sense of the intelligence being cited. And personally, I know I was mistaken in downplaying this possibility because I never believed the NATO states would concede on anything. Given Russia's resolute demands I should have given this outcome a higher chance in my mind.
Just wanted to thank Derek for his transparency and epistemic humility throughout this entire Ukraine affair. It's refreshing to hear journalists self-critique in real time and process through why something happened that they did not foresee. For my part, I don't think you have ANYTHING to apologize for, Derek - I think it's becoming clear that the maximalist invasion was always likely to happen but our only sources for that information were the notoriously unreliable ideologically motivated, and propagandistic US intelligence agencies. I would prefer that you default to harsh skepticism of the claims of US intelligence while analyzing the broad scope of any conflict from multiple perspectives - I think you have done an admirable job of that throughout and I thank you for it.