Zelensky has been at the center of global attention for leading his country in holding off Russia's attempted full-scale invasion and making significant victories in the war by halting the Kremlin from advancing and reclaiming captured territories.
"This year’s choice was the most clear-cut in memory," Time Magazine's Edward Felsenthal wrote. "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. In the weeks after Russian bombs began falling on Feb. 24, his decision not to flee Kyiv but to stay and rally support was fateful. From his first 40-second Instagram post on Feb. 25—showing that his Cabinet and civil society were intact and in place—to daily speeches delivered remotely to the likes of houses of Parliament, the World Bank, and the Grammy Awards, Ukraine’s President was everywhere. His information offensive shifted the geopolitical weather system, setting off a wave of action that swept the globe."
Other candidates included on Time Magazine's final shortlist included Billionaire Elon Musk -- who was named Person of the Year in 2021 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping, The Supreme Court, outgoing Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, MacKenzie Scott, protesters in Iran, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Janet Yellen and gun safety advocates.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced his country would conduct military operations in Eastern Ukraine during an NBC News translation of a speech addressing the Russian population in Moscow on February 24.
The announcement appeared to serve as the final action ahead of an attack by Putin and the Russian military, which the U.S. and European allies to the neighboring Ukraine have attempted to prevent from taking place through diplomatic discussions.
In October, Ukraine announced it had retaken full control of Lyman, a city within one of the four regions Putin had claimed were annexed forever by the Kremlin.
"Lyman is cleared fully," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on October 2 via NBC News, hours after Russia's Defense Ministry announced the withdrawal of troops form the city.
“Over the past week, the number of Ukrainian flags in Donbas has increased. There will be even more in a week’s time,” Zelenskyy had previously said during his October 1 address.
Lyman is in the Donetsk region which, along with Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, were among the territories Putin vowed would be recognized as Russian territories as part of the biggest annexation in Europe since World War II on September 30, Reuters reported.