The folly of “off-ramps”

What happens if Putin decides that he is losing in Ukraine?  He will act to protect himself by declaring victory and changing the subject.  He does not need an off ramp in the real world, because that is not where his power rests.  All he needs to do is change the story in Russia’s virtual world, as he has been doing for decades.  This is just a matter of setting the agenda in a meeting.  In virtual reality there is always an escape route, and for this reason Putin cannot be “cornered.”  (Neither, for that matter, can the actual Russian army in actual Ukraine.  When Russian units are defeated, they just cross back into Russia).