Time Magazine picked Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, and “the spirit of Ukraine” as its Person of the Year for 2022.
Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine have suffered hardships over the past few months due to the Russian government’s constant onslaught. Time established the Person of the Year award to recognize persons who made contributions to society. And Time decided to feature Zelenskyy this year due to his leadership during the battle.
“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 all the way 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.
Time celebrates Zelenskyy and Ukrainians
A picture of Zelenskyy appears on the cover of Time magazine. Ukrainians, who also displayed Ukrainian flags and colorful sunflowers, surrounded his large photo. Time claims that the image represented Zelenskyy’s fortitude in the face of Russia’s overwhelming military might. The Ukrainian President resisted leaving the nation in February and dealt with the problem head-on. Instead, he remained in his nation and fought alongside his people to defend their 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 country’s head of state. According to Time, Zelenskyy has lately been under pressure to deal with the war. As a result, Zelenskyy allegedly adopted a more rigid and combative demeanor, a far cry from his customary 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.”
Other choices by Time
Time chose Zelenskyy as Person of the Year from among ten contenders. The magazine also named other well-known figures on its roster, such as Ron DeSantis, the US Supreme Court, Elon Musk, US Representative Liz Cheney, the Iranian demonstrators, and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Russia will continue its fight
Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, reaffirmed his desire to carry on the conflict. The Russian forces sustained massive losses in vital Ukrainian districts that Ukraine took back. If the pattern persists, experts predict that Russia may lose the battle. Putin vowed that they would not abandon the battle, nevertheless. Instead, he anticipates a lengthy conflict that might end 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 country
Zelenskyy discussed various topics in a lengthy interview with Time, including his goal to defend Ukraine. According to Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian people will always struggle for their rights despite hardships. Ukraine’s recent victory in the battle of Kherson is yet another tactical success for the Ukrainian army.
“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.
Photo Credit: Time Magazine