Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year on Wednesday after being one of 10 individuals or groups placed on a shortlist earlier this week.
Since late February, Zelensky has led Ukraine as it has fought to fend off a full-scale Russian invasion of the nation. He has presided over a string of wins in the conflict that have mostly prevented Russia from making progress. He has also led Ukraine to recapture land it had lost.
When Russia first invaded Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin hoped to take the country in three or four days; but his forces encountered stiffer-than-expected resistance from Ukrainian defenders rallied by Zelensky’s calls to fight to protect their country. The war has now continued for more than nine months.
The Ukrainian president, who was once an actor and played president in a television series, has become a familiar figure. Throughout the conflict, he has addressed the Ukrainian people frequently with a somber yet comforting tone.
Additionally, he has functioned as Ukraine’s chief representative to the rest of the world; pleading with NATO and nations like the United States to support Ukraine in order to stop Russian aggression.
Other candidates named to the shortlist included the U.S. Supreme Court, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Tesla and Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who was last year’s Person of the Year.
The magazine has announced its Person of the Year, formerly called Man of the Year or Woman of the Year, annually since 1927 for the person who has done the most to influence the events of the year.