Ukraine’s leader Zelensky is named Time’s 2022 Person of the Year

Volodymyr Zelensky and the spirit of Ukraine is named Time’s 2022 Person of the Year after Putin’s invasion plummeted the country into war and his leadership drew comparison with Winston Churchill

  • TIME magazine announced 2022’s ‘Person of the Year’ on Wednesday
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky inspired Ukrainians and won global accolades for his courage in resisting Russia’s devastating invasion 
  • Other finalists included Chinese President Xi Jinping, Ron DeSantis  
  • Elon Musk was named Time’s ‘Person of the Year’ in 2021

Time magazine named Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky 2022’s ‘Person of the Year’ on Wednesday, saying he inspired Ukrainians and won global accolades for his courage in resisting Russia’s devastating invasion. 

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.

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 this tradition in 1927.

Time magazine named Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky 2022's 'Person of the Year' on Wednesday, saying he inspired Ukrainians and won global accolades for his courage in resisting Russia's devastating invasion

Time magazine named Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky 2022’s ‘Person of the Year’ on Wednesday, saying he inspired Ukrainians and won global accolades for his courage in resisting Russia’s devastating invasion

Zelensky refused to leave Ukraine's capital of Kyiv at the start of the war as bombs rained down

Zelensky refused to leave Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv at the start of the war as bombs rained down

Time Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal announced the magazine’s choice exclusively on TODAY Wednesday.

‘Whether one looks at this story of Ukraine with a sense of hope or a sense of fear, and the story is, of course, not fully written yet … Zelensky has really galvanized the world in a way we haven’t seen in decades,’ Felsenthal said. 

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

TIME 2022 PERSON OF THE YEAR FULL LIST

2022 PERSON OF THE YEAR

Volodymyr Zelensky 

The Spirit of Ukraine

HEROES OF THE YEAR

The Women of Iran

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR 

Blackpink

INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR

Gregory Robinson and the James Webb Telescope

ICON OF THE YEAR

Michelle Yeoh

ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Aaron Judge

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‘Zelensky’s success as a wartime leader has relied on the fact that courage is contagious,’ Time wrote in acknowledging the 44-year-old leader.

‘It spread through Ukraine’s political leadership in the first days of the invasion, as everyone realized the president had stuck around.’ 

‘Whether one looks at this story of Ukraine with a sense of hope or a sense of fear, and the story is, of course, not fully written yet … Zelensky has really galvanized the world in a way we haven’t seen in decades,’ Felsenthal said. 

Also named as winners this year, the women of Iran were named as 2022’s Heroes of the Year. The magazine named Blackpink as Time’s 2022 Entertainer of the Year, and Aaron Judge as Time’s 2022 Athlete of the Year.

Last year, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and now Twitter, was the magazine’s pick for Person of the Year. 

US president Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris won jointly in 2020.

King Charles’ mother Queen Elizabeth II was Time’s Woman of the Year in 1952 – the year she became monarch.

And in 2019, climate activist Greta Thunberg, then just 16, made history when she was named the most influential.

Zelensky was chosen this year out of a shortlist of nine other finalists. 

Those included Chinese President Xi Jinping, the U.S. Supreme Court, Elon Musk, Rep. Liz Cheney, MacKenzie Scott, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, protesters in Iran, gun safety advocates and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen.

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