Wednesday, December 7, 2022 – Time Magazine has named Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and “the spirit of Ukraine” as its 2022 Person of the Year.
The annual award by the US magazine’s editors is given to someone who is felt to have had the most global influence during the last 12 months.
Other finalists included protesters in Iran, China’s leader Xi Jinping, and the US Supreme Court.
The magazine’s editor said the decision was “the most clear-cut in memory”.
“In a world that had come to be defined by its divisiveness, there was a coming together around this cause, around this country,” Edward Felsenthal wrote.
He added that the “spirit of Ukraine” referred to Ukrainians around the world, including many who “fought behind the scenes”. This includes people like Ievgen Klopotenko, a chef who provided thousands of free meals to Ukrainians, and medic Yuliia Payevska who was captured, then released after three months in Russian captivity.
The magazine said Mr. Zelensky had inspired Ukrainians and was recognised internationally for his courage in resisting the Russian invasion.
“Zelensky’s success as a wartime leader has relied on the fact that courage is contagious,” it said.
Mr. Zelenskyy told Time: “I have not finished this great, important action for our country. Not yet.”
British trauma surgeon David Nott, who went into Ukraine to help those injured in the war, is one of several others who feature on the magazine’s cover.
The K-pop band Blackpink are recognised as Time’s Entertainer of the year, American baseballer Aaron Judge is the Athlete of the Year and Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh is the Icon of the Year.
Elon Musk, who was last year’s winner, was again listed as a finalist.
Check out the previous winners over the past decade.
2021 – Elon Musk
2020 – Joe Biden and Kamala Harris
2019 – Greta Thunberg
2018 – “The Guardians”, a group of journalists including Jamal Khashoggi
2017 – “The silence breakers”, the women who started the #MeToo movement
2016 – Donald Trump
2015 – Angela Merkel
2014 – “Ebola Fighters”, medics who fought to contain the outbreak in Africa
2013 – Pope Francis
2012 – Barack Obama