Kremlin complains about Time magazine naming Zelenskyy Person of the Year, calls it 'short-sighted' and 'anti-Russian'

Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.Emin Sansar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
  • Vladimir Putin's spokesperson complained about Time naming Zelenskyy its person of the year.

  • Dmitry Peskov said the accolade was "vehemently Russophobic" and attacked Western media.

  • Time said that the choice of Zelenskyy was "the most clear-cut in memory."

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman complained on Thursday that Time magazine's decision to name President Volodymyr Zelenskyy the Person of the Year was "Russophobic," per state media.

Speaking to reporters, Dmitry Peskov claimed the accolade was evidence of an anti-Russian Western media system.

"Time magazine employs its own criteria, which we can go on with or disagree, and it is their own editorial policy," according to TASS.

"However, in this case the magazine's editorial directives remain within the boundaries of the pan-European mainstream, which is totally short-sighted, anti-Russian and vehemently Russophobic," he continued, per the outlet.

Time announced the award on Tuesday, naming not only Zelenskyy but also "the spirit of Ukraine" as its person of the year. It described the choice as "the most clear-cut in memory."

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Russian lawmaker Oleg Morozov, of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, also described the move as a farce, according to state-controlled news agency RIA Novosti.

The Kremlin tightened an already vice-like grip over Russian media at the outbreak of its invasion of Ukraine, as Insider's John Haltiwanger reported. This virtually extinguished independent media within the country.

State media in Russia has continually cast the West — along with its media's reporting of the Ukraine invasion — as skewed and anti-Russian.

The Time award, which dates back to 1927, is described by the magazine as a marker of influence over events of the given year "for good or for ill."

In the past, it has gone to figures including then-President-Elect Donald Trump, Greta Thunberg, and Elon Musk.

In an editorial explaining its choice in 2022, the magazine said that Zelenskyy and the "spirit of Ukraine" were chosen "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."

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