Time’s Person of the Year for 2022 has been recognized as Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the spirit of Ukraine.
The 44-year-old Ukrainian president Zelenskyy has been hailed as a hero both at home and internationally. Over the past year, as he has guided the country through Russia’s unjustified attacks on Ukraine, he has become a symbol of resistance and democracy.
Edward Felsenthal, the editor-in-chief of Time, revealed the magazine’s decision exclusively on TODAY on Wednesday, December 7. He claimed that Zelenskyy had maintained international interest in Ukraine.
“Whether one views this story of Ukraine with a sense of hope or a sense of terror, and of course, the story isn’t completely written yet… Zelenskyy has truly inspired the world in a way that hasn’t been witnessed in decades, according to Felsenthal.
Zelenskyy’s effectiveness as a wartime commander has depended on the idea that heroism is contagious, Time reporter Simon Shuster wrote in an essay announcing him as the 2022 Person of the Year. In the early days of the invasion, as everyone became aware that the President had persisted, it spread throughout Ukraine’s political elite.
On February 24, Russian armies invaded Ukraine, but Zelenskyy refused to flee Kyiv and remained behind to defend his country’s citizens. Zelenskyy reportedly told the US, “The struggle is here; I need ammo, not a ride,” according to a tweet posted on February 26 by the Ukrainian embassy in Britain.
With no sign of an end in sight, the war in Ukraine has lasted for almost ten months. Zelenskyy has undertaken perilous missions to assist Ukrainian forces and the nation as a whole, including a June visit to the frontlines of the Donbass region and a November gathering with Kherson townspeople to celebrate the withdrawal of Russian troops.
Zelenskyy informed the magazine that due to the state the Russians left Kherson in and the potential that they may have left behind operatives and saboteurs who could harm him, his security advised against him visiting the city. But the reason he did it was clear: “It’s the people,” he said.
During the journey to Kherson, Zelensky told Time that “my security was 100% against it.” They were very upset. They have almost little influence over anything in a recently de-occupied area. Therefore, it’s a major risk and a little careless on my part.
Zelenskyy’s decision to stay, however, has encouraged Ukrainians to join the military in the struggle against Russia.
According to a 35-year-old Ukrainian woman named Natasha, “Zelenskyy gives me confidence.” “In my opinion, Zelenskyy is the genuine defender of democracy around the globe and of the future peace of our children and our planet.”
Conor Kennedy, the grandson of former U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and Bryan Stern, combat veterans of the Army and Navy, are two worldwide warriors who have been inspired by the leader.
In many ways, Zelenskyy’s attention is the most valuable commodity in the world, according to Felsenthal. The world has been paying attention to this story because “he really understands the weapons of this digital age.”
Zelenskyy, a former actor and comedian, was chosen to lead Ukraine in April 2019. Zelenskyy was well-known throughout the nation for his role as a high school teacher who enters politics when a recording of his tirade against government corruption went viral in the sitcom “Servant of the People.” In the television series, his persona becomes president.
Three years after taking office as president of Ukraine, Zelenskyy admitted to Time in April 2022 that he had matured and altered “from all this wisdom that I never sought.”
Since 1927, Time’s editors have selected an Individual of the Year to symbolize the impact that person has had on the news during the previous 12 months.
The Chinese President Xi Jinping, the U.S. Supreme Court, Elon Musk, Rep. Liz Cheney, MacKenzie Scott, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Iranian protesters, gun safety advocates, and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen were among the nine people on a shortlist that Time editors used to select Zelenskyy.
The magazine chose Musk, the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and now Twitter, as its Person of the Year for 2021. Prior to that, Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden were named as having the most influence on 2020.
Along with Zelenskyy, Felsenthal named the Iranian ladies as the year’s Heroes of the Year for 2022. Time named Aaron Judge the 2022 Athlete of the Year and Blackpink the 2022 Entertainer of the Year.