The Kremlin Is Incensed Over Ukrainian President Zelensky Being Named ‘Person Of The Year’ By ‘Russophobic’ TIME Magazine

To say that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky are a study in contrasts would be an understatement. If we want a simple example, we can look at how Zelensky refused an offer (from President Biden) for a ride out of Ukraine after Russia’s February 2022 invasion. Whereas reports indicate that Putin has been hatching a plan to flee from Russia if he loses the war and gets booted from power.

As one would expect, Putin’s also not thrilled about his army’s shortcomings as Ukraine has made a series of stunning advances against the odds. Putin did try to downplay the sophisticated bombing of a key Russian asset, but Putin couldn’t deny (as USA Today now reports) that this was is turning into a longer affair than he previously imagined it would be.

Meanwhile, Putin continues to be the butt of shirtless horseback jokes while trying to look big, bad, scary, and strong, so TIME naming “Zelensky and the spirit of Ukraine” as Person of the Year was bound to ruffle Kremlin feathers, too.

As TIME notes, “Zelensky’s success as a wartime leader has relied on the fact that courage is contagious.” The publication pointed toward how presidents (and there are many examples of this) tend to leave the building when similar invasions happen. Here’s how the Kremlin has officially responded, via USA Today

“The magazine’s editorial directives remain within the boundaries of the pan-European mainstream, which is totally short-sighted, anti-Russian and vehemently Russophobic,” Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Putin has yet to directly comment on the TIME move, but he did resurrect his talk of using nuclear weapons. As CNN reports, Putin didn’t deny the possibility of being the first to whip out nukes. He stayed very vague, too, by mentioning that “we have a strategy… namely, as a defense, we consider weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons – it is all based around the so-called retaliatory strike.” What does this mean? “That is, when we are struck, we strike in response.” He doesn’t define “struck,” of course, but again, the differences between himself and Zelensky are looking pretty stark these days.

(Via Time, USA Today & CNN)