This is a map of how much Ukranian land is currently occupied by Russian forces, transposed to other countries:
The amount of Ukrainian territory occupied by Russians, equivalent to other European countries.
Any appeasement of russia and concessions to russia is equal to spitting on hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian lives – civilians who are suffering under Russian occupation.
Realities of being under russian occupation: mass-murder of civilians, raping, torture prisons, filtration/concentration camps, deportations, kidnappings and deportation of children, other unspoken atrocities -all that perpetrated by russians on a day-to-day basis in Ukraine.
And all of that horror is happening on russian-occupied Ukrainian territory that is larger than many American states or European countries.
— Walter Report
And on “the folly of off-ramps” by Timothy Snyder:
The Russian media and political system is designed to keep Putin in power regardless of what happens in the outside world. Russian politics takes place within a closed information environment which Putin himself designed and which Putin himself runs. He does not need our help in the real world to craft reassuring fictions for Russians. He has been doing this for twenty years without our help.
Ukrainians understand this, which is one reason that they become irritated when we suggest that they concede territory or victory to Russia because of a concern about Putin’s internal state. They know that this is not only unjust but pointless. What matters in Russian politics is not Putin’s feelings nor battlefield realities but the ability of the Putin regime to change the story for Russian media consumers. It is senseless, as the Ukrainians understand, to sentence real people of real territories to suffer and die for the sake of Russian narratives that do not even depend upon the real world.
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).