Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko (born 27 November 1960, is a Ukrainian politician. She was the Prime Minister of Ukraine from 24 January to 8 September 2005, and again from 18 December 2007 to 4 March 2010. She placed third in Forbes Magazine's List of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women 2005. Tymoshenko is the leader of the All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" party and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc.
She has been a practising economist and academic. Prior to her political career, Yulia Tymoshenko was a successful but controversial businesswoman in the gas industry, becoming by some estimates one of the richest people in the country. Before becoming Ukraine's first female Prime Minister in 2005, Tymoshenko co-led the Orange Revolution.
Tymoshenko was a candidate in the Ukrainian presidential elections of 2010, but lost this election to Viktor Yanukovych (Tymoshenko received 45.47% of the votes in the second and final round of this election). At first Tymoshenko challenged the election results, claiming the vote was rigged, but withdrew her appeal on 20 February 2010, stating, "It became clear that the court is not out to establish the truth".
Since May 2010 a number of criminal cases have been opened against Tymoshenko. On 11 October 2011, a Ukrainian court sentenced Tymoshenko to seven years in prison after she was found guilty of abuse of office when brokering the 2009 gas deal with Russia. The conviction is seen as "justice being applied selectively under political motivation" by the European Union and other international organizations. On her 51st birthday an action called "Flowers for Yulia" happened in the Lukyanivska Prison.
Early life and career
Yulia Tymoshenko (born Grigyan) was born 27 November 1960, in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union). Her mother Ludmila Nikolaevna Telegina (née Nelepova), was born 11 August 1937, in Dnipropetrovsk. Her father Vladimir Abramovich Grigyan was born 3 December 1937, in Dnipropetrovsk and was, according to his Soviet passport, Latvian. Vladimir left the family when Yulia was three years old. Tymoshenko took the surname of her mother "Telegina" – before graduating in 1977. In 1979, Tymoshenko married Oleksandr Tymoshenko, son of a middle-level Soviet official. In 1980 their daughter Yevhenia (Eugenia) was born.
Tymoshenko graduated from high school in 1977 (school № 37 in Dnipropetrovsk).
In 1978 Tymoshenko entered the mining department of "Dnipropetrovsk Mining Institute". In 1979 she transferred to the Economic Department of the Dnipropetrovsk State University and majored in cybernetic engineering. In 1984 Tymoshenko graduated from the Dnipropetrovsk State University with honors (red diploma) as an engineer-economist.
In 1999, she defended a PhD dissertation at the Kiev National Economic University (Dissertation of Y. Tymoshenko "State Regulation of the tax system").
After graduating from the Dnipropetrovsk State University in 1984 Tymoshenko worked as an engineer-economist in a "Dnipro Machine-Building Plant" in Dnipropetrovsk (factory made missiles) until 1988.
In 1988, as part of the perestroika initiatives, Yulia and Oleksandr Tymoshenko borrowed 5000 Soviet rubles, and opened a cooperative "video rental"; perhaps with the help of Oleksander's father Gennadi Tymoshenko, who presided over (in the provincial council) a network of regional film distribution.
In 1989–1991, Yulia and Oleksandr Tymoshenko founded and headed a Komsomol video rental company "Terminal" in Dnipropetrovsk (which grew to be quite successful), and later privatized it.
In 1991 Tymoshenko established (jointly with her husband Oleksandr, Gennadi Tymoshenko and Olexandr Gravets) "The Ukrainian Petrol Corporation", a company that provided the agriculture industry of Dnipropetrovsk with fuel from 1991 to 1995. Tymoshenko worked as a General Director. From 1995 to 1997, Tymoshenko was the president of the United Energy Systems of Ukraine, a privately owned middleman company that became the main importer of Russian natural gas to Ukraine in 1996. During that time she was nicknamed "gas princess" in light of accusations that she had been reselling enormous quantities of stolen gas and avoiding taxation of those deals. She was also accused of "having given Pavlo Lazarenko kickbacks in exchange for her company's stranglehold on the country's gas supplies". During this period Tymoshenko was involved in business relations (either co-operative or hostile) with many important figures of Ukraine. The list includes Pavlo Lazarenko, Viktor Pinchuk, Ihor Kolomoyskyi, Sergei Tigipko, Leonid Kuchma who at that time was the President of Ukraine. All of these are, like Tymoshenko, originally from Dnipropetrovsk. Tymoshenko has also been closely linked to the management of the Russian corporation, Gazprom.
Tymoshenko is said to have acquired a significant fortune between 1990 and 1998, she became one of the wealthiest oligarchs in Ukraine. Now she's not a businesswoman, as well politician — since 2006 Ukraine published ratings of the "100 richest Ukrainians", Tymoshenko is not present in these rankings.
In the Autumn of 2001, both Tymoshenko and Viktor Yushchenko attempted to create a broad opposition bloc against the incumbent President Leonid Kuchma in order to win the Ukrainian presidential election 2004.
In late 2002, Tymoshenko, Oleksandr Moroz (Socialist Party of Ukraine), Petro Symonenko (Communist Party of Ukraine) and Viktor Yushchenko (Our Ukraine) issued a joint statement concerning "the beginning of a state revolution in Ukraine". In the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election, the communist party stepped out of the alliance, but the other parties remained allies and Symonenko was against a single candidate from the alliance (until July 2006).
On 2 July 2004, Our Ukraine and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc established the Force of the people, a coalition which aimed to stop "the destructive process that has, as a result of the incumbent authorities, become a characteristic for Ukraine", the pact included a promise by Viktor Yushchenko to nominate Tymoshenko as Prime Minister if Yushchenko would win the October 2004 presidential election. Tymoshenko campaigned for Yushchenko during the 2004 electoral campaign. The Yushchenko campaign publicly called for protest on 21 November 2004 (second round election day) when allegations of fraud began to spread. On November 22, 2004 massive protests broke out in cities across Ukraine: the largest, in Kiev's Maidan Nezalezhnosti attracted an estimated 500,000 participants. These protests became known as the Orange Revolution. During the protests, Tymoshenko speeches on Maidan kept the momentum of the street protests going. After the cancellation of Viktor Yanukovych's official victory and a re-run of the second round of the election Viktor Yushchenko was elected President.
Tymoshenko and her husband rent a house in Kiev (the house belongs to relatives) and own a house in Dnipropetrovsk. Tymoshenko has declared she never used and will never use or move into a state-owned summer house, in contrast all former-Presidents of Ukraine are all living in state-owned dachas in Koncha-Zaspa. According to Ukrainian media Tymoshenko lives in a estate in Koncha-Zaspa (estimated worth: $5 million), "rented from a friend for free".
Tymoshenko has publicly stated that, like most Soviet citizens, she spoke only Russian in her childhood (although Tymoshenko was studying the Ukrainian language and Ukrainian literature at the school for 10 years, as all schoolchildren in Ukraine). In January 2010 Tymoshenko stated that in Dnipropetrovsk she did not have to speak Ukrainian until she was 36 (ie before 1996). According to Tymoshenko her braids are a family tradition.
In her spare time, before she was imprisoned, Tymoshenko ran on a treadmill for exercise and listened to the music of Andrea Bocelli, Sarah Brightman, Anna Netrebko and Alessandro Safina. Ukrayinska Pravda is her favourite news source. Tymoshenko has stated she has watched the Tunisian Revolution and Egyptian Revolution of 2011 "with joy and admiration"
Cultural and political image
Tymoshenko is a voluble public performer. Her fiery rhetoric made her an icon of the Orange Revolution.
Tymoshenko's critics have suggested that, as an oligarch, she gained her fortune improperly. Some have speculated that her familiarity with the illegal conduct of business common in Ukraine uniquely qualifies her to combat corruption—if she is willing to do so. Her former business partner, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, was convicted in the United States on charges of money laundering, corruption and fraud, the magnitude of which was in the billions of dollars.
Her transition from oligarch to reformer was believed by many voters to be both genuine and effective. Discrepancies between her declared income and her (viewed as luxurious) lifestyle have been pointed out in the Ukrainian media.
When Tymoshenko joined the Yushchenko Government she didn’t speak Ukrainian. According to fellow Ukrainian politician Borys Tarasyuk in 2002 Tymoshenko "only spoke Russian even when I spoke to her in Ukrainian", but since then she has made the transition to speaking only Ukrainian.
During her second stint as Prime-Minister her ratings at opinion polls fell. Early 2008 at public opinion polls for the Ukrainian presidential election, 2009 she stood at a 30% rate but late-April 2009 that had shrunk to 15% According to a poll carried out between January 29 and February 5, 2009 by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology just over 43% of the Ukrainian voters believed Tymoshenko should leave her post, whereas just over 45% believed she should stay. According to an opinion poll carried out between February 3 and February 12, 2009 by the "Sofia" Center for Social Studies some 59.1% of those polled believed that the activities of (then) Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko where aimed at the defense of her own interests and that of her entourage, some 4.2% said her activities where aimed at the defense of interests of foreign states and some 23.9% believed that Tymoshenko worked for the sake of national interests. 77.7% of the respondents where unsatisfied with the economic policy of the second Tymoshenko Government. Some 71.8% believed that this government was not able to lead the Ukrainian economy out of the 2008–2009 Ukrainian financial crisis or even change the situation in Ukraine to better; 18.1% of respondents did think the that the government could do that.
Tymoshenko has been ranked three times by Forbes magazine among the most powerful women in the world. During her first term, in 2005 she was ranked third (behind only Condoleezza Rice and Wu Yi), in 2008 she was ranked at number 17 and in 2009 at number 47. According to the Ukrainian magazine Focus Lady Yu was placed first in annual ranking of the most influential women in Ukraine in 2006–2010 (five years). During the Orange Revolution some Western media publications dubbed her the "Joan of Arc of the Revolution". Tymoshenko was also dubbed one of the most beautiful women ever to enter politics by Daily Mail and 20 Minutos in 2009.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has stated (in November 2009) he found it comfortable to work with his (then) Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Tymoshenko and also praised her for strengthening Ukrainian sovereignty and building stable ties with Moscow and called the second Tymoshenko Government "efficient and a force for stability". It has been suggested by Reuters that the Russian government, after seeing her opposition to Viktor Yushchenko, supported her since late 2008.
Former ally and President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko stated in November 2009 "I am sure that every week, spent by Yulia Tymoshenko at the post of Prime Minister, leads the country to a catastrophe. Because of Yulia Tymoshenko – it is a crisis, crisis in everything". Yushchenko has repeatedly accused his former ally turned rival Tymoshenko of acting in the interests of Russia, she firmly denied the allegations. On 31 May 2010 Yushchenko stated that Tymoshenko was his "worst mistake", "The most serious mistake was to give the power to her twice". Expert in Ukrainian politics Dr. Taras Kuzio believes that he has always prioritized personal revenge against Tymoshenko over Ukraine’s national interests.
Former Ukrainian Minister of Finance of Ukraine Viktor Pynzenyk has called Tymoshenko's decisions "normally guided by ‘adventurous populism,’" which she saw as a tool to "consolidate power in her own hands" and believed Tymoshenko should have "taken advantage of the opportunity presented by the 2008–2009 Ukrainian financial crisis to reform".
Party of Regions Deputy Head Borys Kolesnykov stated on February 11, 2010 "Tymoshenko was the most effective politician during the entire period of Ukraine's recent history". Former European High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana has called Tymoshenko "a patriot regardless of the position in which you have found yourself". President Viktor Yanukovych stated about Tymoshenko on May 13, 2010 "She likes to create a sensation. We have grown used to this extravagant woman".
Vitaly Chepinoha has closely collaborated with Tymoshenko during various elections for more than a decade.
In some press-media Tymoshenko is sometimes referred to as Lady Yu.
From : www.wikipedia.org