Volodymyr Zelensky and ‘spirit of Ukraine’ named TIME’s 2022 Person of the Year

Volodymyr Zelensky and ‘spirit of Ukraine’ named TIME’s 2022 Person of the Year

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been named TIME’s person of the year, alongside the “spirit of Ukraine.”

The magazine revealed its choice on Wednesday as it tweeted the front page of a special edition featuring the leader, saying he inspired Ukrainians and won global accolades for his courage in resisting Russia’s devastating invasion.

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Refusing to leave Ukraine‘s capital of Kyiv at the outbreak of the war as Russian bombs rained down, the former comedian rallied his compatriots in broadcasts from the capital and traveled across his war-torn nation, the publication noted in bestowing its annual title.

On Tuesday, Mr Zelensky visited Ukrainian troops near the front lines in eastern Ukraine.

Acknowledging the 44-year-old leader, TIME wrote: “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.”

Mr Zelensky became President in 2019, and has been in office throughout Russia’s war against Ukraine, which began in February.

Russia-Ukraine Crisis:: Volodymyr Zelensky Ukraine war timeline

Russian invasion of Ukraine: Prime Minister Boris Johnson with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, touring Independence Square during his visit to Kyiv (PA Media)
Russian invasion of Ukraine: Prime Minister Boris Johnson with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, touring Independence Square during his visit to Kyiv (PA Media)
In this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office and posted on Facebook, on Monday, April 25, 2022, from left; U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken pose for a picture during their meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP) (AP)
In this image from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office and posted on Facebook, on Monday, April 25, 2022, from left; U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken pose for a picture during their meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP) (AP)
In this image released by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office on Sunday, May 1, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, right, awards the Order of Princess Olga, the third grade, to U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP)
In this image released by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office on Sunday, May 1, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, right, awards the Order of Princess Olga, the third grade, to U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 30, 2022. (AP)
In this handout picture released and taken by Ukrainian Presidency Press Office on March 13, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) snaps a selfie with an injured man laying on a bed during a visit at a military hospital following fightings in the Kyiv region (UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SER)
In this handout picture released and taken by Ukrainian Presidency Press Office on March 13, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (L) snaps a selfie with an injured man laying on a bed during a visit at a military hospital following fightings in the Kyiv region (UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SER)
In this handout picture released and taken by Ukrainian Presidency Press Office on March 13, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (2ndR) speaks to an injured man laying on a bed during a visit at a military hospital following fightings in the Kyiv region. (UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SER)
In this handout picture released and taken by Ukrainian Presidency Press Office on March 13, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (2ndR) speaks to an injured man laying on a bed during a visit at a military hospital following fightings in the Kyiv region. (UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SER)
In this handout picture released and taken by Ukrainian Presidency Press Office on March 13, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (2ndR) speaks to with an injured man laying on a bed during a visit at a military hospital following fightings in the Kyiv region. (UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SER)
In this handout picture released and taken by Ukrainian Presidency Press Office on March 13, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (2ndR) speaks to with an injured man laying on a bed during a visit at a military hospital following fightings in the Kyiv region. (UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SER)
In this handout picture released and taken by Ukrainian Presidency Press Office on March 13, 2022, a member of the medical staff receives is awarded by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) during his visit at a military hospital following fightings in the Kyiv region. (UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SER)
In this handout picture released and taken by Ukrainian Presidency Press Office on March 13, 2022, a member of the medical staff receives is awarded by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) during his visit at a military hospital following fightings in the Kyiv region. (UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SER)
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy listens to a chief of the National military medical clinical centre Major General Anatolii Kazmirchuk and a chief of Medical Forces Command Brigadier General Tetiana Ostashchenko, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, at the hospital’s compound in Kyiv, Ukraine (via REUTERS)
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy listens to a chief of the National military medical clinical centre Major General Anatolii Kazmirchuk and a chief of Medical Forces Command Brigadier General Tetiana Ostashchenko, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, at the hospital’s compound in Kyiv, Ukraine (via REUTERS)
This handout video grab taken and released by the Ukraine Presidency press service on March 4, 2022 shows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivering an address in Kyiv. (UKRAINE PRESIDENCY/AFP via Getty)
This handout video grab taken and released by the Ukraine Presidency press service on March 4, 2022 shows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivering an address in Kyiv. (UKRAINE PRESIDENCY/AFP via Getty)
This screen grab taken from a video made available on the Facebook account of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, shows himself speaking face camera on February 25, 2022. (FACEBOOK / @Volodymyr Zelensky/A)
This screen grab taken from a video made available on the Facebook account of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, shows himself speaking face camera on February 25, 2022. (FACEBOOK / @Volodymyr Zelensky/A)
This screen grab taken from a video made available on the Facebook account of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, shows himself speaking face camera on February 26, 2022. (FACEBOOK / @Volodymyr Zelensky/A)
This screen grab taken from a video made available on the Facebook account of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, shows himself speaking face camera on February 26, 2022. (FACEBOOK / @Volodymyr Zelensky/A)

He grew up in the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast of central Ukraine and studied at the Kyiv National Economic University, before pursuing a career in comedy and acting, including in hugely popular TV series Servant of the People in which he played the President of Ukraine.

He won the election in 2019 with more than 73 per cent of the vote.

Mr Zelensky joins a long line of politicians to have been selected TIME’s ‘Person of the Year’, including Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Donald Trump, Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, and Vladimir Putin - the latter of whom was selected in 2007.

Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk was named Time‘s ‘Person of the Year’ in 2021, a year that saw his electric car company become the most valuable carmaker in the world. TIME began the tradition of selecting a ‘Person of the Year’ in 1927.

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