Yulia Tymoshenko: Wikis


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Yulia Tymoshenko
Юлія Тимошенко

Tymoshenko on 27 April 2009

In office
18 December 2007 – 3 March 2010
President Viktor Yushchenko
Viktor Yanukovych
Preceded by Viktor Yanukovych
Succeeded by Oleksandr Turchynov (Acting)
In office
24 January 2005 – 8 September 2005
Acting until 4 February 2005
President Viktor Yushchenko
Preceded by Mykola Azarov (Acting)
Succeeded by Yuriy Yekhanurov

Born 27 November 1960 (1960-11-27) (age 49)[1]
Dnipropetrovsk, Soviet Union (now Ukraine)[1]
Political party All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" (1999–present)
Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (2001–present)
Other political
Hromada (Before 1999)
Spouse(s) Oleksandr Tymoshenko
Children Eugenia
Alma mater Dnipropetrovsk National University
Religion Ukrainian Orthodox
Website Official website

Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko (Ukrainian: Юлія Володимирівна Тимошенко, [ˈjulijɑ ʋɔlɔˈdɪmɪriʋnɑ tɪmɔˈʃɛnkɔ], née Hryhyan;[2] born November 27, 1960) is a Ukrainian politician.

Tymoshenko was the Prime Minister of Ukraine from January 24 to September 8, 2005, and again from December 18, 2007 to March 4, 2010[3] when she was dismissed from the post by the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament.[4] She 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.[5]

Tymoshenko was a candidate in the Ukraine presidential elections of 2010.[6] During the first round of voting, Tymoshenko gained approximately 25% of the votes, which put her in second place, behind Viktor Yanukovych. The two candidates progressed to a runoff election,[7][8] results of which are yet to be officially declared.[9] Tymoshenko is challenging the election results and has stated that the vote was rigged with more than 1 million votes that were falsified or miscounted.[10][11] On February 17, Administrative Court of Ukraine suspended the results of the election on her appeal. The court suspended the Central Election Commission of Ukraine ruling that announced that Viktor Yanukovych won the election.[12][13] Tymoshenko withdrew her appeal on February 20, 2010.[14] On March 3, 2010 the Ukrainian Parliament passed a motion of no confidence in the second Tymoshenko Government that led to the fall of the cabinet.[3]


Early life and career

Tymoshenko was born in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union) to Ludmila Nikolaevna Telegina, a member of the country's Russian speaking community, and Vladimir Abramovich Hryhyan, (there has been speculation her father is of Armenian descent).[2][15] Her father left the family when Yulia was three years old.[16] Tymoshenko took the surname of her mother, under which she graduated.[16] Tymoshenko has reported that she did not learn to speak Ukrainian until she was 36.[17] In 1979, Tymoshenko married Oleksandr Tymoshenko, son of a mid-level Soviet communist party bureaucrat. In 1980 their daughter Eugenia was born.[15]

Tymoshenko graduated from the Dnipropetrovsk State University with a degree in economics in 1984, and went on to gain a Ph.D. in economics. Since then, she has written about 50 papers. Tymoshenko is also a former student of the National Mining University of Ukraine, but did not graduate there.[18]

After graduating with honors from the Economic Department of Dnipropetrovsk State University in 1984 Tymoshenko worked as an engineer-economist in a machine-building plant in Dnipropetrovsk until 1988.[19] In 1989, as part of the perestroika initiatives, Yulia Tymoshenko founded and headed a Komsomol video rental chain[15] (which grew to be quite successful), and later privatized it. Tymoshenko worked as a General Director of Ukrainian Petrol Corporation, a company that provided the agriculture industry of Dnipropetrovsk with oil products from 1991 to 1995.[19]

From 1995 to 1997,[1] 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".[20] 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, Rinat Akhmetov, and Leonid Kuchma who at that time was the President of Ukraine. All of these except for Akhmetov are, like Tymoshenko, originally from Dnipropetrovsk. Tymoshenko has also been closely linked to the management of the Russian corporation, Gazprom.[21]

Tymoshenko is said to have acquired a significant fortune between 1990 and 1998. It was during this period of privatization—which historians have described as a period full of corruption and mismanagement—that she became one of the wealthiest oligarchs in Ukraine.[20]

Political career


Early career

Yulia Tymoshenko entered politics in 1996, and was elected to the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament) from the Kirovohrad Oblast, winning a record 92.3% of the vote in her constituency. In Parliament she joined the faction Constitutional Centre.[22]

She was re-elected in 1998 as number 6[22] on the party list of Hromada. Tymoshenko was a leading figure in the party,[23] and became the Chair of the Budget Committee of the Verkhovna Rada.[19][24] After Hromada's party leader Pavlo Lazarenko fled to the United States in the spring of 1999 to avoid investigations for embezzlement[25] various faction members left Hromada to join other parliamentary faction,[26] among them Tymoshenko who set up the All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" faction.[25]

From 1999 to 2001, Tymoshenko was the Deputy Prime Minister for the fuel and energy sector in the cabinet of Viktor Yushchenko. She was fired by President Leonid Kuchma in January 2001 after developing a conflict with oligarchs in the industry. Soon after her dismissal, Tymoshenko took leadership of the National Salvation Committee and became active in the Ukraine without Kuchma-protests.[27]

In mid-February 2001, Tymoshenko was arrested on charges of forging customs documents and smuggling gas between 1995 and 1997 (while president of United Energy Systems of Ukraine) but was released several weeks later.[19][27][28] Her political supporters organized several protest rallies near the Lukyanivska Prison where she was held in custody.[29] According to Tymoshenko, the charges were fabricated by Kuchma's regime at the behest of oligarchs threatened by her efforts to root out corruption and institute market-based reforms. In spite of being cleared of the charges, Moscow maintained an arrest warrant for Tymoshenko should she enter Russia until her dismissal as Prime Minister four years later.[30][31]

In addition, Tymoshenko's husband, Oleksandr, spent two years in hiding in order to avoid incarceration on charges the couple said were unfounded and politically motivated by the former Kuchma administration.[32][33][34]

Campaigns against Kuchma and 2002 election

Once the charges were dropped, she reassumed her place among the leaders of the grassroots campaign against President Kuchma for his alleged role in the murder of the journalist Georgiy Gongadze. In this campaign, Tymoshenko first became known as a passionate, revolutionist leader, an example of this being a TV broadcast of her smashing prison windows during one of the rallies. At the time Tymoshenko wanted to organise a national referendum to impeach President Kuchma.[35]

Our government was doing almost an underground work under the rigorous pressure of president Kuchma and criminal-oligarchic groups. All anti-shadow and anti-corruption initiatives of the Cabinet of Ministers were being blocked, while the Government was being an object of blackmailing and different provocations. People were arrested only because their relatives were working for the Cabinet of Ministers and were carrying out real reforms that were murderous for the corrupted system of power.

Yulia Tymoshenko Nezavisimaya Gazeta interview (October 25, 2001)[36]

February 9, 2001, Tymoshenko founded the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (the National Salvation Committee merged into it),[27] a political bloc that received 7.2 percent of the vote in the 2002 parliamentary election. She is the head of the Batkivshchina (Fatherland) political party since the party was organised in 1999.[37]

August 11, 2001 civilian and military prosecutors in Russia opened a new criminal case against Tymoshenko accusing her of bribery.[38] On December 27, 2005 Russian prosecutors dropped these charges. Russian prosecutors had suspended an arrest warrant when she was appointed Prime Minister in but reinstated it after she was fired in September 2005. The prosecutors suspended it again when she came to Moscow for questioning[39] on September 25, 2005.[40] Tymoshenko never traveled to Russia during her first seven months as Prime Minister (the first Tymoshenko Government).[40]

In January 2002 Tymoshenko was involved in a mysterious car accident that she survived with minor injuries—an episode some believe may have been a government assassination attempt.[41]

Orange Revolution

In the Autumn of 2001, both Tymoshenko and Viktor Yushchenko broached at creating a broad opposition bloc against the incumbent President Leonid Kuchma in order to win the Ukrainian presidential election 2004.[25]

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[42] (until July 2006).[43]

On July 2, 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.[25] The Yushchenko campaign publicly called for protest on November 21, 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.[44] These protest become known as the Orange Revolution. During the protests, Tymoshenko speeches on Maidan kept the momentum of the street protests going.[45] 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.[46]

After the Orange Revolution

Yulia Tymoshenko in Parliament, February 4, 2005

On January 24, 2005, Tymoshenko was appointed acting Prime Minister of Ukraine under Yushchenko's presidency. On February 4, Tymoshenko's premiership appointment was ratified by the parliament with an overwhelming majority of 373 votes (226 were required for approval).[15][47] On July 28, Forbes named her the third most powerful woman in the world, behind only Condoleezza Rice and Wu Yi.[48] However, in the magazine's list published on September 1, 2006, Tymoshenko was not included in the top 100.[49]

Several months into her government, internal conflicts within the post‐Revolution coalition began to damage Tymoshenko's administration.[50][51][52] On September 8, after the resignation of several senior officials, including the Head of the Security and Defence Council Petro Poroshenko[53] and Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Tomenko,[54] Yulia Tymoshenko's government was dismissed by President Viktor Yushchenko[54][55] during a live television address to the nation.[56] She was succeeded as Prime Minister by Yuriy Yehanurov.[55] Yushchenko went on to criticize her work as head of the Cabinet, suggesting it had led to an economic slowdown and political conflicts within the ruling coalition.[57]

2006 parliamentary election

After her dismissal Tymoshenko started to tour the country in a bid to win the 2006 Ukrainian parliamentary election as the leader of her Bloc. She soon announced that she wanted to return to the post of Prime Minister.[58]

With the Bloc coming second in the election, and winning 129 seats, many speculated that she might form a coalition with Yushchenko's Our Ukraine party and the Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPU) to prevent the Party of Regions from gaining power.[59] Tymoshenko again reiterated her stance in regard to becoming Prime Minister.[59] However, negotiations with Our Ukraine and SPU faced many difficulties as the various blocs scrapped over posts and engaged in counter-negotiations with other groupings.[60]

On Wednesday June 21, 2006, the Ukrainian media reported that the parties had finally reached a coalition agreement, which appeared to have ended nearly three months of political uncertainty.[61][62]

Tymoshenko's nomination and confirmation as new Prime Minister was expected to be straightforward. However, the nomination was preconditioned on an election of her long-term rival Petro Poroshenko from Our Ukraine as the speaker of the parliament. Tymoshenko stated that she would vote for any speaker from the coalition.[63] Within a few days after the coalition agreement had been signed, it became clear that the coalition members mistrusted each other,[63] since they considered it to be a deviation from parliamentary procedures in order to hold a simultaneous vote on Poroshenko as the speaker and Tymoshenko as Prime Minister.[64][65]

The Party of Regions announced an ultimatum to the coalition, demanding that the parliamentary procedures be observed, asking membership in parliamentary committees to be allocated in proportion to seats held by each fraction, chairmanship in certain Parliamentary committees as well as Governorships in the administrative subdivisions won by the Party of Regions.[66][67] The Party of Regions complained the coalition agreement deprived the Party of Regions and the communists of any representation in the executive and leadership in parliamentary committees while in the local regional councils won by the Party of Regions, the coalition parties were locked out of all committees as well.[66]

Members from the Party of Regions blocked the parliament from Thursday, June 29[68] through Thursday, July 6.[69]

Unfortunately, a different coalition has now been created. But it won't last long – for a number of reasons. First, to unite incompatible things – Communism and doubled-dyed clans – into one team. A coalition of Communists, Socialists and mobsters won’t last long because this country will sense the insincerity and the total absence of any strategic thing. I know for sure that our team won't allow Ukraine to be raped so easily.

Yulia Tymoshenko on ICTV (July 7, 2006)[70]

Following a surprise nomination of Oleksandr Moroz from the Socialist Party of Ukraine as the Rada speaker and his subsequent election late on July 6 with the support of the Party of Regions, the "Orange coalition" collapsed (Poroshenko had withdrawn his candidacy and had urged Moroz to do the same on July 7[63]).[71][72] After the creation of a large coalition of majority, led by the former prime minister Viktor Yanukovych and composed of the Party of Regions, Socialists and Communists, Viktor Yanukovych became Prime Minister, and the other two parties were left in the wilderness.[73][74] Whilst Tymoshenko immediately announced that her political force would be in opposition to the new government,[70] Our Ukraine stalled until October 4, 2006, when it too joined the opposition.[75] Following the 2007 Ukrainian political crisis new elections were called.[76]

2007 Foreign Affairs article

Yulia Timoshenko and Vladimir Putin (March 19, 2005); in November 2009 Putin stated he found it comfortable to work with Tymoshenko and also praised her political choices.[77][78]

Tymoshenko wrote an article called "Containing Russia" in the May-June 2007 edition of the journal Foreign Affairs.[79][80] In the article she sharply criticized authoritarian developments under Vladimir Putin and opposed the alleged new Russian expansionism. Consequently, the article irked Russia and more than a week before the article was published, Russia responded to the article, calling it an "anti-Russian manifesto" and "an attempt to once again draw dividing lines in Europe."[81]

It was subsequently revealed that significant portions of the article had been paraphrased from an article written by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Tymoshenko's staff denied allegations of plagiarism on the grounds that the Foreign Affairs format does not usually include attributions.[82]

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov wrote an article called "Containing Russia: Back To The Future?"[83] for the same journal which was apparently meant to be a response to Tymoshenko. He withdrew the article before publication, accusing the editors of changing his text and said his article was subjected to "censorship".[84]

2007 parliamentary election

Following balloting in the 2007 parliamentary elections held on September 30, 2007, Orange Revolution parties said they had won enough votes to form a governing coalition. As of October 3, 2007, an almost final tally gave the alliance of Tymoshenko and President Yushchenko a slim lead over a rival party of Prime Minister Yanukovych. Although Yanukovych, whose party won the single biggest share of the vote, also claimed victory,[85] one of his coalition allies, the Socialist Party of Ukraine, failed to gain enough votes to retain seats in Parliament.

On October 15, 2007, Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc agreed to form a majority coalition in the new parliament of the 6th convocation.[86] On November 29, a coalition was signed between the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc, which is associated with President Yushchenko. Both parties are affiliated with the Orange Revolution. On December 18, Tymoshenko was once again elected as Prime Minister, supported by 226 deputies (the minimal amount needed for passage).[87][88]

2008 political crisis

The coalition of Tymoshenko's Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT) and Yushchenko's Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc (OU-PSD) was put at risk due to differing opinions on the ongoing 2008 South Ossetia War between Georgia and Russia. Yulia Tymoshenko disagreed with Yushchenko's condemnation of Russia and preferred to stay neutral on the issue. Yushchenko's office accused her of taking a softer position in order to gain support from Russia in the upcoming 2010 election. Andriy Kyslynskyi, the president's deputy chief of staff, went as far as to call her a 'traitor'.[89] According to BYuT, Viktor Baloha (Chief of Staff of the Presidential Secretariat) had criticized the premier at every turn, accusing her of everything from not being religious enough to damaging the economy and that she was plotting to kill him and that the accusation of 'betrayal' over Georgia was simply one of the latest and most pernicious attacks directed at the premier.[90][91][92][93][94]

After Tymoshenko BYuT voted alongside the Communist Party of Ukraine and the Party of Regions to pass legislation that would facilitate the procedure of impeachment for President[95] and limit the President's power while increasing the Prime Minister's powers, President Yushchenko's OU-PSD bloc pulled out of the coalition and Yushchenko promised to veto legislation[96][97] and threatened an election if a new coalition was not formed soon. This resulted in the 2008 Ukrainian political crisis, which culminated in Yushchenko announcing/calling an early parliamentary election on October 8, 2008.[98][99]

Tymoshenko was fiercely opposed to the snap election, stating: "No politician would throw Ukraine into snap elections at this important time. But, if Yushchenko and Yanukovych – who are ideologists of snap elections – throw the country into snap elections, then they will bear responsibility for all the consequences of the global financial crisis on Ukraine".[100] The election was initially to be held December 7, 2008,[101][102] but later postponed to an unknown date.[103][104][105] Tymoshenko had no intention of resigning[106] until a new coalition was formed.[107]

Early December 2008 there were negotiations between BYuT and Party of Regions to form a coalition[108] but after Volodymyr Lytvyn was elected Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament of Ukraine) December 9, 2008 he announced the creation of a coalition between his Lytvyn Bloc, BYuT and OU-PSD.[109] After negotiations[110][111] the three parties officially signed the coalition agreement on December 16.[112] It is unsure if this coalition will stop the snap election[113][114][115] although Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn predicts the Verkhovna Rada will work until 2012.[116]

2010 Presidential election

Yulia Tymoshenko (First round) - percentage of total national vote (25.05%)
Yulia Tymoshenko (Second round) - percentage of total national vote (45.47%)

On February 5, 2009 the second Tymoshenko cabinet survived a second no-confidence vote in the Ukrainian Parliament (the first was rejected on July 11, 2008).[117][118] As of February 2009 the relations between Tymoshenko and President Yushchenko,[119][120][121][122] the Secretariat of the President of Ukraine[123] and the oppositional Party of Regions remain hostile.[124] According to Tymoshenko her conflict with the President is a political competition and not ideological antagonisms and she emphasizes that the "election struggle for the next presidential elections has virtually begun".[125]

After long been considered a possible candidate for the President of Ukraine in 2010,[126][127] Tymoshenko announced that she will stand in the presidential elections in 2010 in a statement broadcast live on national TV on June 7, 2009,[6] despite previous statements (in 2008) she did not intend to become president.[128] Tymoshenko has stated that if she loses the presidential elections she will not challenge their results.[129][130] On September 12, 2009 a tour called “With Ukraine in Heart” in support of Tymoshenko candidature kick-started on Kiev's Maidan Nezalezhnosti. The most popular singers and bands of Ukraine took part in the tour.[131][132][133]

Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko formally endorsed Yulia Tymoshenko as their candidate for the next Presidential election, the first-round ballot is scheduled to be held on January 17, 2010.[134][135] Tymoshenko candidature was also endorsed by noticeable Ukrainian politicians Borys Tarasyuk, Yuriy Lutsenko, former President Leonid Kravchuk,[136] the Christian Democratic Union,[137] the European Party of Ukraine[138] and Forward, Ukraine!.[139] Analysts have also suggested that she is the Russian Government's preferred candidate in the election, on December 3, 2009 Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin denied this. Putin stated he was cooperating with Tymoshenko as Prime Minister of Ukraine but he was not supporting her in elections.[140]

As soon as Yushchenko and Yanukovych appear on the tribune, expect failure. And how can we forget the match between Ukraine and Greece, when our team lost the trip to South Africa. Why? Because two “lucky” politicians came to the deciding match and transferred their lucky aura to the entire Ukrainian team.

Yulia Tymoshenko's personal blog (December 7, 2009)[141]

Tymoshenko's campaign was expected to have cost $100 to $150 million.[142]

Tymoshenko expects early parliamentary elections after the 2010 presidential election, but she is against this.[143]

On December 1, 2009 Tymoshenko urged "national democratic forces" to unite after the first round of the presidential elections around the candidate who takes the largest number of votes. "If we are not able to strengthen our efforts and unite the whole national-patriotic and democratic camp of Ukraine... we will be much weaker than those who want revenge".[144] On December 5, 2009 she declared she will go into opposition if she loses the presidential elections, Tymoshenko also complained of flaws in the election legislation and expressed confidence of attempts to be made by her opponents to carry out vote rigging.[145]

In the first round of the presidential election on January 17, 2010, Tymoshenko took second place with 25% of the vote and Yanukovych took first place with 35%. The two proceeded to the runoff round held on February 7, 2010[7] in which Yanukovych was elected President of Ukraine with 48.95% of the votes, Tymoshenko received 45.4% of the votes.[146] Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc members immediately claimed that there was systematic and large-scale vote rigging in this run-off.[147][148][149] However Tymoshenko herself did not issue a statement about the election[150][151] until a live televised broadcast on February 13, 2010 in which she stated to challenge the election result in court. Tymoshenko alleged widespread fraud (according to Tymoshenko a million votes were invalid.) and said Yanukovych was not legitimately elected "Whatever happens in future, he will never become the legitimately elected president of Ukraine". Tymoshenko did not call people on to the streets to protest and stated she "won’t tolerate civil confrontation".[11][152][153]

On February 10, 2010 Yanukovych called on Tymoshenko to abandon her protests and resign as Prime Minister.[151] Yanukovych has stated he wants to form a new coalition, and may try to call snap parliamentary elections.[153] On February 12 Yanukovych stated he did not rule out talks with Tymoshenko provided that Tymoshenko publicly apologizes to him for the accusations she made during her election campaign.[154] Tymoshenko's government does not plan to resign voluntarily.[155]

On February 17, 2010 the Higher Administrative Court of Ukraine, suspended the results of the election on Tymoshenko's appeal. The court suspended the Central Election Commission of Ukraine ruling that announced that Viktor Yanukovych won the election.[12][13] Tymoshenko withdrew her appeal on February 20, 2010 after the Higher Administrative Court in Kiev rejected her petition to scrutinize documents from election districts in Crimea and also to question election and law-enforcement officials.[14] According to Tymoshenko "It became clear that the court is not out to establish the truth, and, unfortunately, the court is as biased as the Central Election Commission, which includes a political majority from Yanukovych".[156] Tymoshenko also stated "At the very least there was rigging of votes using the main methods of falsification, and I think that for history this lawsuit with all the documentation will remain in the Higher Administrative Court of Ukraine, and sooner or later, an honest prosecutor’s office and an honest court will assess that Yanukovych wasn’t elected President of Ukraine, and that the will of the people had been rigged".[156] The same day (February 20) Tymoshenko announced that she will not challenge the results of the second round of the presidential election in the Supreme Court of Ukraine since she believed there where no legal provisions for such an appeal.[157]

Yanukovych presidency

The falsifications decided the elections, not you. Like millions of Ukrainians, I assert that Yanukovych is not our president.

PM Tymoshenko televised speech (February 22, 2010)[158]

During a nationally televised address on February 22 Tymoshenko stated about President-elect of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and "Yanukovych’s team" (she referred to them in the speech as "The oligarchy"): “They need cheap labor, poor and disenfranchised people who can be forced to work at their factories for peanuts, they also need Ukraine’s riches, which they have been stealing for the last 18 years.” During the speech she also accused outgoing President Viktor Yushchenko of "opening the door to massive and flagrant election rigging” days before the February 7 runoff of the January 2010 presidential election by amending the election law.[158][159] During a Cabinet of Ministers meeting on February 24 Tymoshenko stated “The moment of truth has arrived: The decision whether or not to side with Yanukovych will show who values the preservation of Ukraine’s independence and self-identity and who does not”.[159] Tymoshenko and her party, Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko, banned the inauguration ceremony of President Yanukovych (on February 25, 2010).[160]

If the Second Tymoshenko Government can not be preserved Tymoshenko stated on February 22, 2010 she would go into Parliamentary opposition.[158] On March 3, 2010 the Ukrainian Parliament passed a motion of no confidence in the second Tymoshenko Government in which the cabinet was dismissed with 243 lawmakers voting in favour out of the 450.[3] On March 1, 2010 Prime Minister Tymoshenko had demanded this vote herself.[161] On March 2, 2010 the coalition had already lost the parliamentary majority.[162] Before the vote on March 3 Prime Minister Tymoshenko again stated "If the dismissal of the government is passed today, at that very same moment our government will leave the cabinet. Our political force will cross into the opposition".[163][164] Tymoshenko blamed the Lytvyn Bloc and "Our Ukraine, including the leader of Our Ukraine who announced the position of the faction" for the fall of the cabinet.[162] Tymoshenko resigned from the Prime Minister post on March 4, 2010.[4] Fellow BYuT member Oleksandr Turchynov was empowered to fulfill the Prime Minister's duties until a new government was formed on March 4, 2010.[165] On March 9[166] and 15[167], 2010 Tymoshenko called on "all of the national patriotic forces" to unite against Yanukovych. On March 10, 2010 Viktor Yushchenko warned that her leadership of that opposition will end in disaster “Every political force that united with Tymoshenko ended badly”.[168] On March 16 a shadow government including BYuT was established.[169]

Political positions

Tymoshenko wants her country to become a member of EU while concerned about antagonizing Russia.[170][171] "I try to defend our interests so that we can find a balance in our relations both with the EU and Russia".[170] Tymoshenko supports Ukraine joining NATO stating it would be "uncomfortable" for Ukraine to remain "in a void, outside all existing security systems".[170] But, according to Tymoshenko, the question of Ukraine’s joining any system of collective security would "be resolved only by referendum."[172] Tymoshenko is in favour of close relations with the EU, including the creation of a free trade area between Ukraine and EU[173] and later a full membership, preferably in 2015.[174] According to Tymoshenko: "The European project has not been completed as yet. It has not been completed because there is no full-fledged participation of Ukraine."[175] She's against foreign intervention in internal Ukrainian affairs: "Ukraine's realization of its sovereign rights, forming a modern political nation, cannot be considered as a policy aimed against anyone".[176] Tymoshenko does not want to expand the lease contract of the Russian Black Sea fleet in Ukraine because "The Constitution of Ukraine quite clearly stipulates that foreign military bases cannot be deployed in Ukraine, and this constitutional clause is the fundamental basis of the state's security".[177]

From the bottom of my heart I congratulate everyone on the Day of Unity of Ukraine, wish well and happiness. And the most important, belief in our wonderful Fatherland!

Ukraine is strong!

PM Tymoshenko on the Day of Unity of Ukraine (January 22, 2009)[178]

Tymoshenko opposes the introduction of Russian as a second official state language,[179][180] and she does not believe the rights of Russian speakers are violated in current Ukraine.[128] About her own attitude towards Ukrainian Tymoshenko has stated "that today I am thinking and living for Ukrainian... and the fact that I know Russian very well, I think it is not a secret for you... you all know that I was brought up in the Russian speaking region in Dnipropetrovsk, to my mind, I spared no effort to speak Ukrainian as soon as possible as I came in the Government”.[179]

The first Tymoshenko Government planned to renationalise 3,000 firms[181] but the cabinet was sacked before those plans could materialise.[182] Tymoshenko believes that Ukraine's economy is excessively monopolized.[183] Some Ukrainian politicians and academics have described her politically as a state socialist.[57] Tymoshenko is against privatization of the gas transportation system in Ukraine.[184] Tymoshenko lists the recovery of the economy of Ukraine during the 2008–2009 Ukrainian financial crisis as one of her achievements.[185] The second Tymoshenko Government has spend 1.6 billion hryvnya on updating coal mines.[186]

Tymoshenko wants to increase a rise in the general level of social standards by equalizing salaries in the industrial and social spheres[187] and pledged in November 2009 to revamp Ukraine's hospitals and health system within two years[188] and tax breaks for farmers.[189] Other economical policies included compensation for depositors who lost Soviet-era savings, price controls on food and medicines to bring inflation down, calls for a review of murky privatisations and high social spending.[190] Tymoshenko wants to cut the number of taxes by a third, simplifying the system and wants to cut Value Added Tax (VAT) and offer tax breaks to importers of new technologies as well as poor regions to boost investment.[191]

Tymoshenko believes Ukraine could gain energy security through the development and construction of more nuclear power stations and she wants to speed up exploration and extraction of oil and natural gas on the Black Sea shelf.[191]

Tymoshenko wants to reform the forming of state executive bodies[192] and favours giving parliamentary opposition "real instruments of influence on the authorities", wants Ukrainian court system reforms[193] and wants to re-transfer executive power to local authorities.[194] Tymoshenko want Ukrainians "to live in a dictatorship of the constitution and the law".[193][195] In November 2009 Tymoshenko called Ukraine "an absolutely ungovernable country" due to the changes to the Constitution of Ukraine as a part of a political compromise between the acting authorities (former-President Kuchma) and opposition during the Orange Revolution[196] (Tymoshenko has argued those reform were "incomplete"[197] and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc voted against them in December 2004).[198] In December 2009 the second Tymoshenko Government proposed creating independent anti-corruption bureaus in Ukraine.[199]

In January 2010 Tymoshenko called for urgent amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine via the majority of the Verkhovna Rada after a survey or plebiscite is conducted.[200]

Family and personal life

Yulia Tymoshenko is married to Oleksandr Tymoshenko, a businessman.[201] During the early years of her political career, the two were parted for years when Mr. Tymoshenko was escaping arrest. The couple rarely appear together in public.[202] They have a daughter Eugenia (born in 1980).[15]

During a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe she stated that, like most Soviet citizens, she spoke only Russian in her childhood and only learned Ukrainian when she became a member of the government of Viktor Yushchenko in 2000.[128]

Cultural and political image

Tymoshenko without her trademark hair braids.

Tymoshenko is a voluble public performer.[203] Her fiery rhetoric made her an icon of the Orange Revolution.[5]

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 billions-worth money laundering, corruption and fraud.[204]

Her transition from oligarch to reformer was believed by many voters to be both genuine and effective.[57][205] As energy Deputy Prime Minister, she virtually ended many corrupt arrangements in the energy sector. Under her stewardship, Ukraine's revenue collections from the electricity industry grew by several thousand per cent. She scrapped the practice of barter in the electricity market, requiring industrial customers to pay for their electricity in cash.[206] She also terminated exemptions for many organizations[207] which excluded them from having their power disconnected. Her reforms meant that the government had sufficient funds to pay civil servants and increase salaries.[208]

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),[48] in 2008 she was ranked at number 17[209] and in 2009 at number 47.[210] During the Orange Revolution some Western media publications dubbed her as the "Joan of Arc of the Revolution".[211] Tymoshenko is also dubbed as one of the most beautiful women ever to enter politics by Daily Mail and 20 Minutos (in 2009)[212][213] and by the Hottest Heads of State Blog (in 2010).[214]

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%[215] According to a poll carried out between January 29 and February 5, 2009 by the Kiev International Institute for Sociology that just over 43% of the Ukrainian voters believe Tymoshenko should leave her post, whereas just over 45% believe she should stay.[216] According to another poll carried out between February 3 and February 12, 2009 by the “Sofia” Center for Social Studies some 59.1% of those polled believe that the activities of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko are aimed at the defense of her own interests and that of her entourage, some 4.2% said her activities are aimed at defense of interests of foreign states and some 23.9% believe that Yulia Tymoshenko works for the sake of national interests. 77.7% of the respondents are unsatisfied with the economic policy of Yulia Tymoshenko’s government. Some 71.8% believe that the incumbent government is not able to lead economics out of crisis and even change the situation in Ukraine to better; 18.1% of respondents do think the incumbent government can do that.[217][218]

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[77] and called the second Tymoshenko Government "efficient and a force for stability".[78] It has been suggested by Reuters that the Russian government, after seeing her opposition to Viktor Yushchenko, supported her since late 2008.[190]

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”.[219] Yushchenko has repeatedly accused his former ally turned rival Tymoshenko of acting in the interests of Russia, she firmly denied the allegations.[5] On February 11, 2010 Party of Regions Deputy Head Borys Kolesnykov stated “Tymoshenko was the most effective politician during the entire period of Ukraine's recent history”.[220]

Vitaly Chepinoha has closely collaborated with Tymoshenko during various elections for more than a decade.[142]


Based on the names of her grandparents, Tymoshenko may be of Jewish heritage;[221][222][223] but she has denied this, claiming her father had Latvian-roots and her mother is ethnic Ukrainian.[224]

Based on historical linguistics and the etymology of the names of her parents, her father, Vladimir Abramovich Hryhyan, can be traced to Bessarabian descent of either Jewish or Romani people. Abramovich is a patronymic of Abraham from the Old Testament. Her mother's name is Ludmila Nikolaevna Telegina. The last name of Telegina is likely of Russian origin.[225]

Her maternal grandmother, Maria Yosifovna, worked in a candy factory, but her maiden name is unknown. Yosifovna is patronymic of Joseph, a name from the Old Testament, and not usually used by Slavic people unless they are also Jewish. At the time of Stalin's ethnic cleansing, it was customary to hide one's ethnicity, but at the same time, it was unusual to marry outside one's own culture.


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  131. ^ Artist included Ruslana, Oleksandr Ponomaryov, Ani Lorak, Potap and Nastia Kamenskikh, Tina Karol, Natalia Mogilevska, Iryna Bilyk, TIK, TNMK, “Druha Rika”, Mad Heads XL. See the concert here
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  142. ^ a b Paid advisers descend on candidates, nation, Kyiv Post (November 19, 2009)
  143. ^ Tymoshenko: Early parliamentary elections may follow presidential ballot in Ukraine, Kyiv Post (November 26, 2009)
  144. ^ Tymoshenko urges national democratic forces to unite around candidate in second round, Interfax-Ukraine (December 1, 2009)
  145. ^ Tymoshenko to go into opposition if not elected president, Kyiv Post (December 5, 2009)
  146. ^ (Ukrainian)Regular elections of the President of Ukraine 17/01/2010, Central Election Commission of Ukraine
  147. ^ Turchynov: vote rigging in favor of Yanukovych was systematic, large-scale, Kyiv Post (February 10, 2010)
  148. ^ Nataliya Korolevska: victory will be ours, Yulia Tymoshenko official website (February 8, 2010)
  149. ^ Andriy Shevchenko: whole gamut of fraud in Donbas, Yulia Tymoshenko official website (February 8, 2010)
  150. ^ Ukraine's Tymoshenko Slams Rival, No Comment On Election Result, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (February 11, 2010)
  151. ^ a b Ukraine election: Yanukovych urges Tymoshenko to quit, BBC News (February 10, 2010)
  152. ^ Update: Tymoshenko says Ukraine vote was rigged, Kyiv Post (February 14, 2010)
  153. ^ a b Ukraine: Tymoshenko vows to contest election result, BBC News (February 15, 2010)
  154. ^ Yanukovych: Talks with Tymoshenko possible only if she apologizes, Kyiv Post (February 12, 2010)
  155. ^ Update: Ukraine turmoil as defiant Tymoshenko clings on as Prime Minister, Kyiv Post (February 11, 2010)
  156. ^ a b Yulia Tymoshenko: sooner or later an honest court will assess the fraudulent 2010 elections, Official website of Yulia Tymoshenko (February 20, 2010)
  157. ^ Yulia Tymoshenko will not challenge election results in Supreme Court, Official website of Yulia Tymoshenko (February 20, 2010)
  158. ^ a b c Yulia Tymoshenko’s address to the people of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko official website (February 22, 2010)
  159. ^ a b Tymoshenko fights on, refuses to recognize Yanukovych win, Kyiv Post (February 25, 2010)
  160. ^ Half-empty chamber greets Ukraine's new president, Kyiv Post (February 25, 2010)
  161. ^ Tymoshenko demands parliament should consider her government's dismissal on March 2, Kyiv Post (March 1, 2010)
  162. ^ a b Tymoshenko: Dissolution of parliamentary coalition illegal, Kyiv Post (March 2, 2010)
  163. ^ Tymoshenko says cabinet won't stay on as caretaker, Kyiv Post (March 3, 2010)
  164. ^ Tymoshenko: Government members will immediately leave offices after Rada's decision on cabinet dismissal, Kyiv Post (March 3, 2010)
  165. ^ Cabinet: Turchynov will fulfill premier's duties until new government is formed, Kyiv Post (March 4, 2010)
  166. ^ Ex-premier Tymoshenko calls for Ukrainians to join opposition, RIA Novosti (March 9, 2010)
  167. ^ Tymoshenko calls on opposition to unite, Kyiv Post (March 15, 2010)
  168. ^ Yushchenko jumps back into political fray, visiting relatively friendly territory in Lviv, Kyiv Post (March 11, 2010)
  169. ^ Eight parties sign agreement on creation of united opposition, Kyiv Post (March 16, 2010)
  170. ^ a b c Ukraine's Dangerous Game by Federico Fubini, Foreign Policy
  171. ^ Tymoshenko: Ukraine will become a member of the European Union, UNIAN (March 3, 2008)
  172. ^ Tymoshenko sure Ukraine will join European Union, Kyiv Post (October 31, 2009)
  173. ^ Yulia Tymoshenko hopes today's sitting of Ukraine-EU Cooperation Council to give powerful impetus for Ukraine's accedence to the EU, Personal web site of Yulia Tymoshenko (June 16, 2009)
  174. ^ UPDATED: Tymoshenko wants to take country into EU in 5 years, Kyiv Post (January 14, 2010)
  175. ^ Tymoshenko: European project not finished because Ukraine is not there, UNIAN (June 4, 2009)
  176. ^ Ukraine will independently decide on its domestic, foreign policies, says Tymoshenko, Interfax-Ukraine (August 14, 2009)
  177. ^ Tymoshenko: Constitution is the main priority regarding deployment of Russian fleet in Ukraine, Kyiv Post (January 14, 2010)
  178. ^ Congratulation by Ukrianian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on the Day of Unity of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko official website (January 22, 2009)
  179. ^ a b Yulia Tymoshenko: In Ukraine there will be "mova" (Ukrainian language), not "yazyk" (Russian language)!, Web portal of the Ukrainian Government (September 25, 2008)
  180. ^ Ukrainian premier against granting national status to Russian language, Kyiv Post (August 20, 2009)
  181. ^ Ukraine revisits state sell-offs, BBC News (16 February 2005)
  182. ^ Ukraine Leader Fires Cabinet as Reform Coalition Splits, New York Times (September 9, 2005)
  183. ^ Tymoshenko: Ukraine's economy excessively monopolized, Kyiv Post (October 7, 2009)
  184. ^ Tymoshenko promises not to allow privatization of Ukraine's gas transportation system, Kyiv Post (November 16, 2009)
  185. ^ Achievements, Official website of Yulia Tymoshenko
  186. ^ Yulia Tymoshenko: Effective development of coal industry is the future of Ukraine, Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (August 25, 2009)
  187. ^ Government plans raise general level of social standards, says Tymoshenko, Interfax-Ukraine (October 1, 2009)
  188. ^ Tymoshenko pledges to revamp ailing hospitals by 2012, Kyiv Post (November 1, 2009)
  189. ^ Tymoshenko promises tax breaks for farmers, Interfax-Ukraine (November 25, 2009)
  190. ^ a b Ukraine's election: portraits of main players, Kyiv Post (January 1, 2010)
  191. ^ a b Economic policies of Ukraine's election front-runners, Kyiv Post (January 18, 2010)
  192. ^ Tymoshenko proposes to change staff policy in country cardinally, UNIAN (October 22, 2009)
  193. ^ a b Tymoshenko promises to establish 'dictatorship of law' if she wins at presidential elections, Kyiv Post (October 5, 2009)
  194. ^ Tymoshenko speaks in support of decentralization of power, Kyiv Post (October 5, 2009)
  195. ^ Tymoshenko approves of Poroshenko as foreign minister, Kyiv Post (October 9, 2009)
  196. ^ Tymoshenko calls Ukraine ‘absolutely ungovernable’, Kyiv Post (November 26, 2009)
  197. ^ The Report: Emerging Ukraine 2007, Oxford Business Group, 2007, ISBN 1902339681/ISBN 978-1902339689, page 20
  198. ^ Ukraine’s constitutional crisis drags on by Taras Kuzio, Kyiv Post (January 10, 2007)
  199. ^ Tymoshenko proposes creating independent anti-corruption bureaus in Ukraine, Kyiv Post (December 8, 2009)
  200. ^ Tymoshenko: Constitution must be amended after survey conducted on form of government, Kyiv Post (January 20, 2010)
  201. ^ (Ukrainian) Тимошенко наголошує, що її чоловік займається бізнесом, UNIAN (April 2, 2009)
  202. ^ (Ukrainian) Всеядна дружина Ющенка, співоча Янукович та терплячий "пташник" Тимошенко, Табло ID (November 10, 2009)
  203. ^ Ukraine's Yanukovich shuns TV face-off with rival, Kyiv Post (February 1, 2010)
  204. ^ "Former Ukraine PM is jailed in US". BBC News. August 25, 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5287870.stm. Retrieved 2006-08-26. 
  205. ^ 'The braid' is crowning glory for the Ukranian politician Yulia Tymoshenko, New York Times (October 7, 2007)
  206. ^ Energy Dependency, Politics and Corruption in the Former Soviet Union: Russia's Power, Oligarchs' Profits and Ukraine's Missing Energy Policy, 1995-2006 by Margarita M. Balmaceda, Routledge, 2007, ISBN 0415437792/ISBN 978-0415437790, page 59
  207. ^ Tymoshenko 1 & 2, Kyiv Post (July 6, 2006)
  208. ^ Women's Social Activism in the New Ukraine: Development and the Politics of Differentiation by Sarah D. Phillips, Indiana University Press, 2008, ISBN 0253219922/ISBN 978-0253219923, page 44
  209. ^ "The 100 Most Powerful Women". Forbes. August 27, 2008. http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/11/biz_powerwomen08_The-100-Most-Powerful-Women_Rank.html. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  210. ^ "The 100 Most Powerful Women - #47 Yulia Tymoshenko". Forbes. August 20, 2009. http://www.forbes.com/lists/2009/11/power-women-09_Yulia-Tymoshenko_PGEZ.html. 
  211. ^ Westcott, Kathryn. "The queen of Ukraine's image machine". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7025980.stm. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  212. ^ Oh Yes, Minister! Meet the women voted the world's most stunning politicians (what WOULD Sir Humphrey say...), Daily Mail (March 26, 2009)
  213. ^ (Spanish) ¿Quién es la política más linda del mundo?, 20 Minutos (March 26, 2009)
  214. ^ Hottest Heads of State, Time (October 13, 2010)
  215. ^ See Ukrainian presidential election, 2009#Public opinion polls for references and more information
  216. ^ Poll says Ukraine's president should step down now, UNIAN (February 17, 2009)
  217. ^ Majority of Ukrainians believe Tymoshenko defends her own interests, UNIAN (February 17, 2009)
  218. ^ Ukrainians have lost confidence in government's handling of crisis, says poll, Interfax-Ukraine (February 17, 2009)
  219. ^ Tymoshenko’s activity at post of Prime Minister is reason of crises in Ukraine – Yushchenko, UNIAN (November 24, 2009)
  220. ^ Regions Party calls Tymoshenko most effective opposition figure in Ukraine, Kyiv Post (February 11, 2010)
  221. ^ Ukraine 2007, Stephen Roth Institute (2007)
  222. ^ Debate rages over whether Ukraine presidential hopeful is Jewish, Haaretz (November 10, 2009)
  223. ^ Campaign gets dirty: Leaflets smear Tymoshenko as ‘Jew’, Kyiv Post (February 5, 2010)
  224. ^ (Ukrainian) Тимошенко - україно-латишка, але любить євреїв, Ukrayinska Pravda (September 2, 2005)
  225. ^ (Russian) Между Украиной, Арменией, Латвией и...: Юлия Тимошенко скрывает своё происхождение, REGNUM News Agency (April 20, 2008)

Further reading

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Mykola Azarov
Prime Minister of Ukraine
Succeeded by
Yuriy Yekhanurov
Preceded by
Viktor Yanukovych
Prime Minister of Ukraine
Succeeded by
Oleksandr Turchynov

Simple English

File:GeorgeBush-Juliia Tymoshenko (2008)
Yulia Tymoshenko meeting with the United States President George W. Bush on 1 April 2008

Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko,[1] (born on 27 November 1960), is a Ukrainian politician. She is the leader of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc political party, and former Prime Minister of the Ukraine. She has served two terms. Her first term was from 24 January to 8 September 2005. She was re-elected on 18 December 2007 but was ousted by the Ukrainian Parliament on 3 March 2010[2] after the government with her own political party and the political party of Viktor Yushchenko (former President of Ukraine) Our Ukraine and the small Lytvyn Bloc lost a no-confidence vote.[2]

While they were once strong allies, today there is a lot of political rivalry between Yushchenko and Tymoshenko. When Viktor Yushchenko lost the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election, and his followers argued that the election had been corrupt, she was his main ally and one of the leaders of The Orange Revolution.[3]

In February 2010 Tymoshenko lost the presidential election to Viktor Yanukovych; with a 3.48% difference, she said Yanukovych won because of fraud.[4] She has promised to make life for the new President as difficult as possible.[3]

Tymoshenko's first name is sometimes spelled Yuliya, Yulia, Iulia, or Julia.


  1. Ukrainian: Юлія Володимирівна Тимошенко
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ukrainian parliament creates new coalition, Kyiv Post (11 March 2010)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Profile: Yulia Tymoshenko, BBC News
  4. Profile: Viktor Yanukovych, BBC News

Other websites

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