Not sure if this is a legit question for SE, but here goes.
Despite the loss of innocent lives & damage to infrastructure, Putin is not doing great in Ukraine. The sanctions mount as the Russian economy crumbles, and while the Russian army continues advancing, there are issues with morale, supplies, and fuel.
At this point I'm curious what exactly stands between us and the nukes flying: basically, how can Putin escalate / make demands to save face, while cutting his losses? Seems like he's slowly being cornered and the only way out involves desperate measures.
Am I missing something?