Zelenskyy and 'spirit of Ukraine' named Time Magazine Person of the Year

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pictured sitting on a stairwell in Ukraine.
The selection of President Zelenskyy was described as 'the most clear-cut in memory'. Credit: AP

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been named Time Magazine's Person of the Year, with the accolade awarded to him "for proving that courage can be as contagious as fear".

Editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said the choice of Zelenskyy - alongside "the spirit of Ukraine" - was "the most clear-cut in memory".

"Whether the battle for Ukraine fills one with hope or with fear, the world marched to Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s beat in 2022," he said.

A comedian-turned-politician who was elected to lead Ukraine in 2019, Zelenskyy has worked ceaselessly since Russia’s invasion in February to inspire his country’s resistance and marshal international support for Ukraine.

Mr Felsenthal said the Ukrainian president's decision when the war started "not to flee Kyiv but to stay and rally support was fateful".

"For proving that courage can be as contagious as fear, for stirring people and nations to come together in defense of freedom, for reminding the world of the fragility of democracy - and of peace - Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the spirit of Ukraine are TIME’s 2022 Person of the Year," he added.

The magazine also highlighted people said to embody the spirit of Ukraine.

They include engineer Oleg Kutkov, who helped keep Ukraine connected; Olga Rudenko, editor of the Kyiv Independent; and British combat surgeon David Nott.

Time’s widely watched annual selection has sparked debate and sometimes controversy since it began in 1927.

Elon Musk - the tech, telecoms and space magnate who recently bought Twitter - won the award in 2021.

In 2020, the title went to US President Joe Biden - at the time president-elect - and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know