I don’t think he is doing it for careerist reasons. My read is that he knows that Ukraine is going to be brought to its knees unless US support increases, which seems unlikely. The current government doesn’t want to do what he sees as necessary (Magnus’ B). If it was, he would probably be willing to stay and fight. But Zelensky is going to be finished at the point Ukraine is forced to sign a treaty recognizing the annexation of Kherson, the Donbas, etc. That surely has to be coming soon, and it may be coming off the table soon. At that point, Ukraine is going to be back at the same political crossroads it was pre-Orange revolution - Russian quislings or legitimate Ukrainian patriots. Anyone tainted with defeat is going to be an easy target for the quislings.
Writ large, I think he is preparing for what he sees as the next stage of Ukraine’s struggle for independence, recognizing that despite enormous courage and sacrifice, it is going to lose this one.
But situation in the east is awful.
The clearly political decision to delay withdrawal. Well, I don’t want to say anything more about it. But Avdiivka is now under operation encirclement and loss ration favours RU by far. The defenders are getting desyroyed. It is too late for orderly withdrawal now I am afraid.
Could have posted much more, but Avdiivka and how Syrsky has not withdrawn the VERY experienced troops there in time, just makes me sad, so next time I will post about Avdiivka might be when it has fallen and we see pictures of a few hundred Ukrainian prisoners of war from RU sources.
The main problem is not withdrawing in time, not that Avdiivka itself falls,imo. You need to defend it hard, as long as militarily possible. But when the situation changes and loss ratio starts favouring Russians because they hold the flanks and you end up in encirclement, then you have very badly managed your forces when you do not withdraw in time. And these are experienced units.
Yeah, trajejectory has been Russian occupaton of what remains of Avdiivka for a long while. UA should have started withdrawal the day after RU broke into the city imo. Because at that moment, if UA cannot push them back, it becomes cheaper in blood for RU to reinforce. Of course, if UA did not have artillery shortage, it would likely have been very different. But it has and severe manpower shortage as well, and then you need to retreat before loss ratio becomes 1-1, or I fear now in Avdiivka, better than that for RU due to operational encirclement. The forces UA sent there should have been there to cover a retreat as to avoid a RU breakthrough from Avdiivka, not to merely supplant defenders and get destroyed themselves. Of course, as well as not getting personell out, they will have to leave all the equippment for the Russians to capture obviously. Nothing good comes from an order to retreat that comes much too late. Only a defeat that becomes far more grim than necessary.
Obviously I armchair now, but I am honestly not the worst since I have a decent understanding of what is going on.