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Time magazine names Volodymyr Zelenskyy 'Person of the Year'

Louis Oelofse
December 7, 2022

The US magazine's editors said the Ukrainian leader reminded the world "courage can be as contagious as fear." He was their choice of the person who most influenced the events of the past 12 months.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Zelenskyy has led Ukraine as it is countering a full-scale Russian invasionImage: Ukrainian Presidential Press Office/UPI Photo/Newscom/picture alliance

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the spirit of Ukraine have been named Time magazine's 2022 Person of the Year on Wednesday.

"Whether the battle for Ukraine fills one with hope or with fear, Volodymyr Zelenskyy galvanized the world in a way we haven't seen in decades," Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal wrote.

He added this year's choice for the annual title was the, "most clear-cut in memory."

The magazine also praised the spirit of Ukraine embodied by people living inside and outside the country, "In a world that had come to be defined by its divisiveness, there was a coming together around this cause."

In a lengthy interview, the Ukrainian leader said the fight against Russia was far from over.

He said he wanted to ensure Russia never again invades its neighbor, "I have not finished this great, important action for our country. Not yet.”

Several candidates considered in 2022

Last year, Time gave the title to the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, Elon Musk. He was on the shortlist again this year, along with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the US Supreme Court, and the protesters in Iran.

The magazine did name the women of Iran, the movement of young women protesting the Heroes of the Year.

Blackpink South Korea's most successful girl band was named Entertainer of the Year.

Gregory Robinso the director of the James Webb Space Telescope Program at NASA and the telescope itself was named Innovator of the Year.

The magazine also named New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge its athlete of the year and actress Michelle Yeoh the Icon of the Year.

Time named a person or group "Man of the Year" from 1927 to 1999, when it was renamed "Person of the Year." Only 11 women have been individually chosen for the title.

Other people who were chosen as Time Person of the Year in the past include former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, climate activist Greta Thunberg and Catholic Pope Francis.