New Yorkers reacted on Wednesday to Time magazine naming Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as its Person of the Year. Those polled were generally positive about Zelensky and his efforts.
“I think it’s amazing, as he should be. He’s standing for his country, for his people against a sick dictator like Putin, and he’s shown such courage and bravery. I think he is absolutely the person of the year. It makes me really happy. It’s awesome,” said Monica, a citizen.
“I think he should be the person of the year. I think he’s a hero for his country, and I think a lot of people can learn by example from what he’s done for his people,” stated another citizen, Sharon.
However, some of them believed that while Zelensky deserved to be recognised, there were reasons why the magazine should’ve been more cautious.
“Yes, the war in Ukraine is huge, massive, and important, but I feel a lot of media organisations portray him as this saint who is untouchable, when at the end of the day, he’s a politician after all, and he has his faults. I’m not going to go into details, but he has things that are not perfect about him,” said Simon.
Time magazine’s 2021 person of the year was billionaire Elon Musk, while Joe Biden and Kamala Harris shared the award in 2020.
Zelensky himself is yet to comment.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri Peskov said that the decision was up to the magazine’s “own editorial policy”, but also stated that such “editorial directives remain within the boundaries of the pan-European mainstream, which is totally short-sighted, anti-Russian and vehemently Russophobic.”