President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, has been announced as Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2022.
According to Kerry Kennedy, president of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights nonprofit organization, Zelensky has emerged as a beacon of hope and resilience in the war against Russia. He will also be honored with the 2022 Ripple of Hope Award Gala on December 6th in New York.
In 1978, Volodymyr Zelensky was born in the culturally vibrant city of Kryvyi Rih. Nestled amid Ukraine’s southeast Soviet Socialist Republic at the time, this Russian-speaking locale played an integral part in shaping Zelensky’s life story—one destined for faraway places!
As a twelve-year-old, he witnessed the fall of the Soviet Union and the emergence of an independent Ukraine. With a staggering 73 percent of the vote in the runoff election against President Petro Poroshenko, the former comedian and actor stunned the world in 2019.
Time magazine has chosen Zelensky as this year’s Person of the Year in recognition of both his leadership and “the spirit of Ukraine” that his country holds fast to in spite of political turmoil.
— TIME (@TIME) December 7, 2022
He is lauded for building bridges between both sides and emphasizing diplomacy over nonstop warfare. This message that peace is attainable through discourse and negotiation provides the world with a refreshing example at a time when so many are entrenched in violence and aggression.
Globally Recognized as a Brave Leader
It was “the most clear-cut in memory,” the magazine’s editor stated. The publication stated that Zelensky had been an inspiration to Ukrainians and was recognized globally for his bravery in his resistance to the Russian invasion.
Zelensky’s style was ultimately determined by two decisions he made in February. When the conflict initially broke out, Western countries and military experts speculated that Russian forces would rapidly take control of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, and anticipated that the Ukrainian leadership would flee to more secure territory.
Instead of fleeing the city as a sign of resistance and the continuation of civilian government, Zelensky remained in the capital. In the end, Ukrainian forces were successful in blocking the Russian invasion.
Zelensky urged for peace in a powerful address broadcasted to the nation through social media shortly before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. His call to action was clear: “Listen to the voice of reason.” It seems his plea resonated with citizens, as they have a common, unified desire—they want peace.
“Man of the Year” to “Person of the Year”
Since 1927, Time has annually featured specific people or groups as Person of the Year. Through its honorary title, which is not an actual award, the magazine identifies those who are believed to have had the greatest impact over the course of the previous year. The title “Man of the Year” was the initial name for the annual issue honoring these persons.
Both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were honored in 2020, while Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk was named that year’s most creative CEO.
Time also considered other potential candidates for the honorary designation, including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, Iranian protesters, Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Democratic Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen, and gun control advocates.