Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been declared as TIME’s ‘Person of the Year’ 2022 on Wednesday.
“Many in Ukraine and beyond have hailed Zelenskyy as a hero, and over the last year, he has positioned himself as a symbol of defiance and democracy as he continues to lead the people through Russia’s unwarranted attacks on his country.”.
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According to TIME, the 44-year-old Zelensky’s effectiveness as a battlefield leader is due to the fact that “courage is contagious.” It spread among Ukraine’s political elites in the early days of the invasion, as everyone realized the President had stayed. Consider historical precedence if it seems like a logical thing for a leader to do in a crisis.
“Only six months ago, Afghanistan’s President, Ashraf Ghani, a far more experienced leader than Zelenskyy, fled Kabul as Taliban forces neared.”
One of Zelenskyy’s predecessors, Viktor Yanukovych, fled Kyiv in 2014 as demonstrators surrounded his home; he now lives in Russia.
Early in the Second World War, the leaders of Albania, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Poland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Yugoslavia, among others, fled the advance of the German Wehrmacht and lived out the war in exile, it underlined.
TIME said now it was Zelenskyy’s generation’s turn to face the blows of a foreign invader.
Instead of Stalin and Hitler, it was Russian President Vladimir Putin “trying to break their will by depriving them of heat and light, destroying their ability to harvest food, or to think about much besides survival through this winter.
Already the next generation of Ukrainians, like Zelenskyy’s own son, were learning about the tools of war instead of planning for prosperity. That is the pattern the President aims to disrupt, and his plan relies on more than weapons”.
It added that there wasn’t much in Zelenskyy’s biography to predict his willingness to stand and fight.
“He had never served in the military or shown much interest in its affairs. He had only been President since April 2019. His professional instincts derived from a lifetime as an actor on the stage, a specialist in improv comedy, and a producer in the movie business.”