Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin have been included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
The two presidents are on the “Leaders” list that also includes European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, German Prime Minister Olaf Scholz, and United States President Joe Biden.
Each entry comes with a small script, and this time Biden is also a contributor to the magazine. He wrote about Zelensky.
When Vladimir Putin started his brutal war against Ukraine and the Ukrainians needed their leader, Volodymyr Zelensky’s words echoed around the world: “The president is here,” Biden opens his text.
He says Zelensky is a leader who “deserves Ukrainian courage and resilience” as people across the country fight for freedom.
– Every time we talk together, I hear in Zelensky’s voice the indomitable will of a man who fully believes in his duty to the people, and who every day amounts to the enormous responsibility of leading the country through a dark and difficult time, as the US President continues to praise his Ukrainian counterpart.
He says that Zelensky inspired the free world to be more united, more determined, and focused, and that Zelensky made his mark in history and proved that Ukraine would survive.
The tone is completely different in the text about Vladimir Putin, written by Alexei Navalny, a Russian dissident who is serving a nine-year prison sentence in a labor camp.
Perhaps Vladimir Putin’s true calling is to teach us a lesson – we are all world leaders to ordinary people. Navalny wrote that he did quite well, and it seemed to him that he began with a compliment.
Remind us again that if you start with “just a simple election fraud”, it always ends in a dictatorship. Dictatorship leads to war. It is a lesson we must not forget.
At the same time, Navalny accuses the world leader of being a hypocrite when for years he has spoken of a “pragmatic approach and the usefulness of international trade.
In this way, they allowed themselves to enjoy Russian oil and gas, while Putin tightened his grip on power. But with sanctions and military and financial aid, this war will cost much more than the lucrative oil and gas deals, celebrated with champagne.
At the same time, Putin believes that Russia’s most famous political prisoner teaches us how any country can undo all the economic progress made over 20 years.
– But the answer to the most important question he asks us: how to stop a mad and madman with an army, nuclear weapons and a permanent place in the UN Security Council – remains unanswered, Navalny writes.
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