The U.S. magazine made the announcement Wednesday, saying this year’s choice of the annual title, which also paid tribute to the people of Ukraine, was the “most clear-cut in memory.” The war in Ukraine has now entered its 10th month.
“Whether the battle for Ukraine fills one with hope or with fear, Volodymyr Zelensky galvanized the world in a way we haven’t seen in decades,” 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.”
Time also acknowledged the hardships and resolve of the Ukrainian people during Russia’s invasion in bestowing its annual title to the “spirit of Ukraine.”
The publication said: “The spirit of Ukraine was embodied by countless individuals inside and outside the country.”
According to a new United Nations report released Wednesday, at least 441 civilians were killed by Russian forces in the early days of the war, but that number is likely much higher, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said.
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) told Global News it was “very pleased” with Time’s choice.
“This speaks to President Zelensky’s inspirational leadership and the courage which he and the Ukrainian people have shown every day since February 24, 2022 as they battle the genocidal Russian regime and defend the freedom of Europe,” said Alexandra Chyczij, UCC national president.
Since Russia launched its offensive against Ukraine on Feb. 24, Zelenskyy has been rallying support for his country and has hosted several world leaders on Ukrainian soil in recent months.
Zelenskyy, a former comedian and actor, has remained in the capital of Kyiv throughout the invasion, despite increasing bombardments and threats of Russian forces breaching the capital.
Ahead of the Nobel Peace Prize announcement in October, there was speculation among analysts that the Ukrainian leader would be given the prestigious award.
That honour instead went to imprisoned Belarus rights activist Ales Bialiatski, the Russian group Memorial and the Ukrainian organization Center for Civil Liberties.
In 2021, Time magazine named Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO and the world’s richest man, as its person of the year. Musk acquired Twitter earlier this year.
— with files from Reuters