VP's would also allow for sudden death victory conditions throughout the game, avoiding the need to waste hundreds of hours playing a game that is already won.
Russia Besieged does this. the Germans have to have captured X VP Hexes by the end of 41, Y by the end of 42, Z by the end of 43. The 41 target is pretty low, the 42 number is pretty high (close to historical levels), and 43 is low. You don't do this, you lose.
In this game you change it to VP totals (technically the game has VPs in the GC already, but they are so abstracted that you don't even know they are there). Different cities should have different VP values more related to political value than anything else. Could even give some VPs for killed and captured troops (captured troops would be worth more as a source of intel and propaganda).
And while we're at it, find out what cities actually evacuated most of their industry in each year - those cities can evacuate their industry, and if they still have the majority of their industry and are in Soviet hands at the end of the year, the Soviets get a VP bonus. You can evacuate industry from other cities as well, but if you do it in a city that never did, or you are doing it before they historically did it, you lose VPs for it.
There is a similar mechanic in Normandy '44, if the Allies capture certain locations before the end of the game period, its done, they win. If the Allies lose more than a certain number of units, its done, they lose. Note that in neither case is the war over, its about the game. The idea is that you are the senior commander and if you screw it up, you are relieved of duty and the next guy will re-evaluate strategy.
Sometimes the VP requirements are put in solely for the case of the game. Normandy '44 originally didn't have auto-loss conditions for the Allies, but during playtesting they saw Allied players throwing British units at the defences around Caen over and over, with absolutely no regard for casualty levels. So they added a limit to how many units the British or Americans 9seperate value for each) could afford to lose before losing confidence in the commander, it was actually a high value that we never came close to in playing the game, but it was still something to keep in mind, and prevented ridiculous tactics.
At the same time while this was done for game reasons, it still had a basis in reality as well. None of the Western Allies could afford to take high level of casualties indefinitely, and Monty would have been relieved if he had been seen throwing British troops away over and over at Caen (that is what the colonials like the Canadians were for). In WitE a mass retreat with no attempt to fight would have been politically unwise (neither Stalin nor Hitler was in any hurry to surrender land to the enemy), and extremely bad for the morale of the army "the Germans invade mother Russia and we are just supposed to run away?" and the people "The army is evacuating the industry!? Oh no! the Germans must be almost here! PANIC!" (which if the Germans is 30 klicks away is okay, but if they are still a month away, is problematic).
So the Germans would be required to have a certain number of VPs at certain periods (a broad level, but enough to have an idea if they are doing really badly or not), just as the Soviets are for the same reasons. If balanced correctly the Germans should have a real desire to push and not turtle in '41 and '42, and the Soviets should have a reason to try to hold onto land for the same periods*. In fact the VP requirements could be more frequent than once a year. Maybe set it so the Russians need to try to hang onto some land through the end of July, then give them the option to fall back a reasonable amount, but not too far, and no random industry evacuations.
Heck, for real fun, make it somewhat variable. You check your Event Report and at the top it says "you currently have 50 VPs, you must have 45 VPs at the beginning of the next turn or suffer auto-defeat" What!? I was going to evacuate several cities this turn! Grrrrrr!!!!
You could also do lesser effects than complete loss of the game, allowing for varying levels of VP effects. If you are at level A you simply win, if you are at B you get this bonus, if you are below C you suffer this penalty, if you are below D you lose (you suck!) Bonuses and penalties could be a small adjustment to national morale/ AP refresh value/ manpower recruitment levels, or short term bonuses like the supplies generated next turn is changed by 10%, or every unit gets a few points of morale added/ subtracted, or what not. Things that wouldn't be game breaking, but a nice little reward for doing a good job, or kick in the butt reminder that you are not doing well.
* There would still be some gamey "just hold on for one more turn!" and "Okay, everybody run away now!" but I think it would be a big improvement over the current model.