TIME Magazine has named Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and the spirit of Ukraine as its 2022 Person of the Year.
The magazine said the choice for this year was “the most clear-cut in memory.”
“For proving that courage can be as contagious as fear, for stirring people and nations to come together in defense of freedom, for reminding the world of the fragility of democracy—and of peace—Volodymyr Zelensky and the spirit of Ukraine are TIME’s 2022 Person of the Year,” it said in its announcement on Wednesday Dec. 7.
The magazine said Zelensky’s decision not to flee Kyiv but stay when Russian bombs began falling in the capital in February was a fateful and that he had “galvanized the world in a way we haven’t seen in decades.”
“From his first 40-second Instagram post on Feb. 25—showing that his Cabinet and civil society were intact and in place—to daily speeches delivered remotely to the likes of houses of Parliament, the World Bank, and the Grammy Awards, Ukraine’s President was everywhere,” Edward Felsenthal, the Editor-in-Chief at TIME, wrote. “His information offensive shifted the geopolitical weather system, setting off a wave of action that swept the globe.”
Zelensky shares the honor with the spirit of Ukraine – the countless individuals inside and outside of the country who fought behind the scenes.
These people include:
- Ievgen Klopotenko, one of Ukraine’s most famous chefs who cooked more than 1,000 free meals a day for refugees for Lviv;
- Oleg Kutkov, a Ukrainian engineer, who helped maintain the telecommunication in Ukraine; Olga Rudenko, the editor of the Kyiv Independent, and other journalists who risked their life to tell the stories from Ukraine;
- And David Nott, a Welsh surgeon, who traveled to the war zone to train local doctors on how to treat war wounds.