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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is Time's Person of the Year

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Posted at 9:03 AM, Dec 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-07 10:08:42-05

Time's 2022 Person of the year is Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Zelenskyy has been praised for his leadership during Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Russia was expected to run right through Ukraine and potentially install a pro-Kremlin government, but Ukraine's military has held the line. Under Zelenskyy's leadership, it has withstood Russia's assault and retaken territory that Russia occupied after the invasion.

Zelenksyy has been a visible leader throughout the invasion. He has publicly met with world leaders, journalists and troops on the battlefield.

He visited Kherson days after it was liberated, a move his security team was against.

“They took it hard. They can’t control practically anything in a region that has just been de-occupied. So it’s a big risk, and, on my part, a bit reckless," Zelenskyy told Time.

The 44-year-old said he needed to show his people that he supported them after living under Russian occupation for months.

“As I see it, it’s my duty to go there and show them that Ukraine has returned, that it supports them," he said. "Maybe it will give them enough of a boost to last a few more days. But I’m not sure. I don’t lull myself with such illusions.”

The 44-year-old assumed office in May 2019. He wasn't always a politician. He was previously a comedian and actor.

Zelenskyy was among nine finalists for Time's Person of the Year. Others considered for the honor included Elon Musk, Rep. Liz Cheney and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.