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Ukraine’s President Zelensky named Time’s ‘Person of the Year’

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who ordered the invasion of Ukraine earlier in the year, was Time’s person of the year in 2007.

• December 8, 2022
President Volodymyr Zelensky on Time magazine cover
President Volodymyr Zelensky on Time magazine cover

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has been named Time magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ for 2022 due to his grit and bravery in fending off the Russian invasion and inspiring courage in the Ukrainian people.

“For proving that courage can be as contagious as fear, for stirring people and nations to come together in defence of freedom, for reminding the world of the fragility of democracy – and of peace – Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the spirit of Ukraine are Time’s 2022 Person of the Year,” said the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal.

The publication heaped accolades on Mr Zelensky for turning down a request by the U.S. government to evacuate him and his family to a secure location in the early days of the invasion. 

Instead, he chose to stay and fight alongside Ukrainians. 

“The fight is here; I need ammunition, not a ride,” the Ukrainian embassy in the UK quoted him as saying. “Ukrainians are proud of their president.”

Mr Felsenthal said the magazine’s decision to honour the 44-year-old Ukrainian president and “the spirit of Ukraine” was “the most clear-cut in memory.”

“Whether the battle for Ukraine fills one with hope or with fear, Volodymyr Zelenskyy galvanised the world in a way we haven’t seen in decades,” Mr Felsenthal noted.

The magazine added, “Zelenskyy’s success as a wartime leader has relied on the fact that courage is contagious. It spread through Ukraine’s political leadership in the first days of the invasion, as everyone realized the president had stuck around.”

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who ordered the invasion of Ukraine earlier in the year, was Time’s person of the year in 2007.

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