President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and “the spirit of Ukraine” has been named Time magazine’s 2022 Person of the Year.
Every year since 1927, Time’s Person of the Year has set activists, world leaders, celebrities and epidemic fighters on its front cover, spotlighting their impact.
“Zelenskyy’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 realised the president had stuck around,” Time wrote.
Other candidates named to the shortlist included the U.S. Supreme Court, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who was last year’s Person of the Year.
Zelensky met with Time for an interview, discussing his experience leading the fight against Ukraine. He has often been compared to former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who rallied the United Kingdom during World War II, but Zelensky has rejected the comparison, noting the former British leader’s reputation as an imperialist.
He instead said he would rather be associated with author George Orwell, who wrote against authoritarianism, and comedian Charlie Chaplin, who used humor to criticize Adolf Hitler.
“I’ve raised the example of Charlie Chaplin, how he used the weapon of information during the Second World War to fight against fascism,” he said. “You see, there were these artists who helped society, because they had a lot of admirers, and their influence was often stronger than artillery.”
Zelensky has been key to dispelling Russian propaganda throughout the war, calling out false claims of genocide happening in Ukraine and Russian forces being liberators to the Ukrainian people.
“I have not finished this great, important action for our country,” he said. “Not yet.”
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