Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and “the spirit of Ukraine” are titled Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2022.
Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people have suffered for months due to the Russian government’s persistent onslaught. In addition, time launched the Person of the Year award to recognize persons who have made significant contributions to society. And, because of Zelenskyy’s leadership throughout the conflict, Time decided to honor him this year.
“When he was growing up, his father worked as a systems manager in the copper mines of Mongolia, and the trips to visit him would take eight days on the railroad from their hometown of Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine, passing through Russia and Siberia,” wrote Time.
“He remembers the journeys fondly—the vast expanses of the Soviet empire rolling by, the glasses of tea served in metal cup holders embossed with the hammer and sickle. It is among the many ironies of his predicament that Zelensky was raised in the empire whose revival he is now fighting to stop.”
“Zelensky’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. If that seems like a natural thing for a leader to do in a crisis, consider historical precedent,” it continued.
The Ukrainians and Zelenskyy, highlighted by Time
The cover of Time magazine has a photograph of Zelenskyy. Ukrainians surround his massive image with colorful sunflowers and Ukrainian flags. According to Time, the photograph represented Zelenskyy’s fortitude in the face of Russia’s overwhelming military power. In February, Ukraine’s President refused to flee the nation, instead confronting the problem hard on. Instead, he stayed in his homeland to fight for his people’s territory.
“[Zelenskyy] was adaptable, trained not to lose his nerve under pressure. He knew how to read a crowd and react to its moods and expectations. Now his audience was the world,” wrote Simon Shuster, a Time reporter.
Time emphasized the individuals who participated in the battle more than the nation’s leader. In addition, Time indicated that Zelenskyy recently faced intense pressure in dealing with the conflict. As a result, according to reports, Zelenskyy adopted a stricter and more fierce demeanor, a far cry from his typical chattiness and eccentricity.
“If the choices their President articulated gave moral clarity to an era we’d mostly been scrolling through, it was people who gave it meaning by acting,” added Time.
“Instead of running for their lives, many Ukrainians grabbed whatever weapons they could find and ran to defend their towns and cities against an invading force armed with tanks and attack helicopters.”
The ten candidates probed by Time
Time magazine chose Zelenskyy as Person of the Year from among ten finalists. Other noteworthy names on the list were Chinese President Xi Jinping, US Representative Liz Cheney, Elon Musk, the US Supreme Court, Janet Yellen, Iran protestors, Ron DeSantis, and gun safety activists, among others.
Russia will continue the conflict
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that he intends to prolong the conflict. Unfortunately, Russian forces sustained considerable casualties in key Ukrainian districts recovered by their adversary. If the current trend continues, experts believe Russia will lose the war. On the other hand, Putin stated that they would not back down from the struggle. Instead, he anticipates a lengthy conflict that might culminate in a nuclear exchange.
“With regard to the protracted nature of the special military operation and its results, of course, it’s going to take a while, perhaps,” Putin said.
“As for the idea that Russia wouldn’t use such weapons first under any circumstances. Then it means we wouldn’t be able to be the second to use them either. Because the possibility to do so in case of an attack on our territory would be very limited,” he added.
“Nevertheless, we have a strategy. Namely, as a defense, we consider weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons – it is all based around the so-called retaliatory strike.”
Zelenskyy will fight for the nation
In a lengthy interview with Time, Zelenskyy discussed various topics, including his desire to preserve Ukraine. In the face of adversity, the Ukrainian people, according to Zelenskyy, would always fight for their rights. Furthermore, Ukraine just won the battle of Kherson, marking another decisive victory for Ukrainian forces.
“That was not yet a final point in the fight against evil, but it already determined the further course of events. That is exactly what we are feeling now,” revealed Zelenskyy to the Time reporter.
“The battle to liberate Kherson was over, he announced, and it was reminiscent of history’s great military victories. Like the Allied landing at Normandy on D-Day, which turned the tide of World War II,” said the reporter.
“But his vision of victory now extends beyond the liberation of territory. His intention is to make it the last, even if it takes a lot more Time and sacrifice. It is far too early to gauge whether that goal can be reached, Zelensky told me,” concluded the reporter.