President Zelensky of Ukraine is Time’s ‘Person of the Year’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year on Wednesday in recognition of his leadership during his country’s war with Russia. The magazine also recognized “the spirit of Ukraine”, highlighting the country’s resilience in a rebuke to Russian President Vladimir V. Putin.

This closely watched honor marks the final step in a remarkable rise which saw Mr. Zelensky catapulted from a career as a television comedian, first to the presidency in 2019 then, this year, to the status of world leader.

The Ukrainian leader, who has come to personify the nation’s resilience since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February, characterized the war as a struggle waged by a peace-loving people seeking freedom from tyranny.

Two decisions made in February came to define his style. When the war began, Western powers and military experts assumed that Russian forces would quickly overrun Kyiv, the capital, and expected the government to retreat to safer ground. Instead, Mr. Zelensky remained in the city as a symbol of defiance and continuity of civil authority. Eventually, Ukrainian forces repelled the Russian attack there.

The second decision was to launch nightly speeches broadcast on social networks. In, shortly before the start of the invasionMr. Zelensky said: “Listen to the voice of reason,” adding: “The Ukrainian people want peace.

In a second, spoken the night Russian forces crossed the border and began shelling Kyiv, he expressed a new national mission. “Putin has started a war against Ukraine and against the whole democratic world,” he said. “He wants to destroy our country and everything we have built, but we know the strength of the Ukrainian people.”

Since then, Mr Zelensky has used his office in Kyiv to deliver a series of speeches to the US Congress, the UK Parliament, the European Union and many other groups, pleading for military support, thanking nations for standing alongside Ukraine and to frame his country’s position. solidarity struggle between freedom and despotism.

Even his look – combat boots, khaki pants, a green T-shirt and a trimmed beard – has become a trademark, reinforcing his image as a citizen soldier. In mid-November, he made a triumphant visit to the southern city of Kherson shortly after Ukrainian forces recaptured it.

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