Global Shock Over Putin's 'Person of the Year' Nomination: Why It's Not Necessarily a Good Thing

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.05 - 2023 10:01 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Global Shock Over Putin's 'Person of the Year' Nomination.

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Many associate Time Magazine's 'Person of the Year' award with positive recognition, typically bestowed upon individuals who have made exceptionally good contributions in one way or another. However, the notion that only commendable figures receive this accolade is a common misconception.

Yesterday, Time Magazine revealed the shortlisted candidates for this year's award, causing a worldwide stir with the inclusion of Russian President Vladimir Putin. This nomination has sparked a wave of confusion and debate, as many perceive it as an endorsement of Putin's actions.

Understand why Putin could be nominated

To understand why Putin could be nominated, it's crucial to recognize the criteria for the award. Time Magazine's 'Person of the Year' is not exclusively reserved for positive contributions. The award is given to the person or group who "most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year."

Putin has been a predominant figure in the media almost every day since the invasion of Ukraine in 2022, arguably making him one of the most discussed individuals globally in 2023.

Other notable figures shortlisted for the title include singer Taylor Swift, King Charles III of Great Britain, China's Xi Jinping, Donald Trump's prosecutor, CEO of Open AI Sam Altman, and Chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve Jerome Powell.

The Ukrainian newspaper Pravda has strongly condemned Putin's nomination. In a tweet, they stated, "It's an outrageous decision by Time Magazine. Putin, the mastermind behind the ongoing war and genocide in Ukraine, is thus nominated as Person of the Year 2023. It's a slap in the face to those who are suffering."

It's important to note that Putin previously won this award back in 2007. His nomination this year underscores that the 'Person of the Year' is not necessarily an honor but rather a recognition of influence – regardless of whether that influence is positive or negative.

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