Ukraine’s president has led the nation to victory after victory since invading Russia more than nine months ago, galvanizing his people with frequent speeches.
WASHINGTON — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Chosen as TIME’s Person of the Year for 2022. Because he embodies the spirit of Ukraine, according to the magazine.
Zielinski’s choice The announcement was made Wednesday on NBC’s “Today” show.
“This year’s election was one of the clearest in memory,” Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal wrote in a letter about the decision. “Whether the war for Ukraine fills one with hope or fear, Volodymyr Zelenskiy mobilized the world in a way we haven’t seen in decades.”
A former comedian and television star, Zelenskiy became popular in the West when Russia began its attempts to invade its neighbor.
As the early days of the war unfolded, Zielinski delivered blunt but often reassuring and passionate messages to his people, speaking in frequent public addresses even as assassins attempted to take his life.
His trademark olive green shirt became a staple in his frequent addresses to the Ukrainian people and in photographs of him commanding the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
He has also become a frequent virtual guest of key Western leaders, appearing in video conferences before the US Congress and the United Nations in an effort to secure resources and support for their troops.
Before Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year, analysts inside Moscow and in the West believed the war could be short, with Russia stepping up defenses in Ukraine. But within days of the conflict starting, Ukrainian troops proved that would not be the case.
Even before allies such as the United States began massing weapons, Ukrainian forces were able to stop Russia from taking over the capital, Kyiv.
In the following months, Ukraine stalled Russia on the battlefield before launching a counteroffensive in late summer that saw it recapture several kilometers of Russian-held territory.
In the most recent high-profile liberation, when Russia relinquished Kherson, Zelensky made an unannounced visit to the city days after it was recaptured. He told TIME that his security was against the trip because there was no guarantee of his safety just in unoccupied territory.
“They’ve been under occupation for nine months, with no light, with nothing. Yes, they’ve had two days of joy on their return to Ukraine. But those two days are over,” TIME’s profile of them said. I was referred to them. “They’re going to be depressed now, and it’s going to be very difficult. As I see it, it’s my duty to go there and show them that Ukraine is back, that it supports them. Maybe. I hope that this will give them enough courage to go on for a few more days. But I am not sure. I do not bring myself under such illusions.”
Zielinski was not the only person considered for the honor. Notables such as Elon Musk, Xi Jinping, the Supreme Court, Liz Cheney, Mackenzie Scott, protesters in Iran, Ron DeSantis and Janet Yellen All were on Time’s 2022 Person of the Year shortlist..
The title, given at the end of the year by TIME’s editors, isn’t necessarily an honor. It is the magazine’s attempt to highlight the person who has had the most influence on the world over the past year, and has increasingly been used in recent years to highlight those whose The review shows an example of the year moving forward.
Last year’s honoree was Elon Musk, who grabbed the headlines this year and was also on the shortlist for 2022.
The cover featuring Zelenskiy features a portrait of his face, surrounded by the faces of the Ukrainian people and the country’s symbols, including its blue and yellow flag.