Volodymyr Zelenskyy Named Time’s 2022 Person of the Year

The Ukrainian president has led his nation on a united front against Russia’s invasion since February

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky makes a surprise visit to Kherson
Paula Bronstein /Getty Images

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been named TIME Magazine’s person of the year for 2022.

Zelenskyy has led his nation on a united front against Russia’s invasion since February. Though the Biden administration offered to get him out of the country when the conflict began, Zelenskyy instead decided to fight alongside his people – and they have been holding their ground for nearly 10 months.

Zelenskyy was elected as Ukraine’s president in April 2019. Prior to leading the Ukrainian people, the former actor and comedian played a teacher who becomes president in the 2015 sitcom “Servant of the People.” He’s also lent his voice to the Ukranian dub of the film “Paddington” as its titular character.

In addition to being featured on a special cover for TIME Magazine, Zelenskyy was also highlighted in an exclusive interview with reporter Simon Shuster. The conversation took place during a train ride to Kherson, which was recently reclaimed by Ukrainian forces in November.

“This year’s choice was the most clear-cut in memory,” TIME editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said of the decision to select Zelenskyy. “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 has awarded the “Person of The Year” distinction since 1927, starting with aviator Charles Lindbergh. The title highlights people or groups who have done the most to influence the year’s events.

In addition to Zelenskyy, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and teen climate activist Greta Thunberg have received the title in recent years.

Others who were named finalists for Person of the Year in 2022 include Musk, China’s president Xi Jinping, The Supreme Court, Rep. Liz Cheney, MacKenzie Scott, protestors in Iran, Florida Gov. Ron Desantis, gun safety advocates and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.