Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is named 'Person of the Year' by Time magazine
- Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Time magazine's "Person of the Year" for 2022.
- The magazine accompanied him on a trip to Kherson, after Russians retreated from the city.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was named "Person of the Year" for 2022 by Time magazine.
Time announced its pick on Tuesday, sharing a picture of its front cover with Zelenskyy on it, surrounded by illustrations in the blue and yellow of Ukraine's flag.
—TIME (@TIME) December 7, 2022
Time noted Zelenskyy's leadership of his country throughout Russia's invasion, which started in February this year.
Before entering politics, Zelenskyy was a popular comedian who starred in the role of Ukrainian president in "Servant of the People."
When the 44-year-old was elected president in 2019, he walked on stage with the show's theme song playing.
But less than three years into his leadership, Zelenskyy was put under intense spotlight as Russian forces crossed the border into Ukraine.
He was widely praised for his speech shortly before the invasion, appealing to Russian citizens to help prevent war.
"Who will suffer the most from this? People. Who does not want this more than anyone? People. Who can prevent this? People," he said.
As the conflict went on, Zelenskyy's prolific use of social media helped to inspire his nation. He filmed clips outdoors near recognizable buildings in the capital, Kyiv.
"I am here. We are not putting down arms," he said in a Twitter video played over 19 million times. "That is it. That's all I wanted to tell you. Glory to Ukraine."
Time magazine accompanied Zelenskyy on a trip to Kherson, two days after Russian forces retreated from the city.
He said his security was "100% against it," but he wanted to support his citizens. "It's my duty to go there and show them that Ukraine has returned, that it supports them," he added.
"It's the people. Nine months they've been under occupation, without light, without anything," he said.
Time described how Zelenskyy has been changed by the war, and how allies miss the former comedian's jokes and smiles.
But they realize he needs to be different now, much harder and deaf to distractions, or else his country might not survive, the magazine said.
Zelenskyy told Time that his vision of victory goes beyond liberating the Ukrainian people, but also to ensuring that this is Russia's final attempt to overpower his country.
"Later we will be judged," he said. "I have not finished this great, important action for our country. Not yet."
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