|Prime Minister of Ukraine|
18 December 2007 – 4 March 2010
|Preceded by||Viktor Yanukovych|
|Succeeded by||Oleksandr Turchynov (Acting)|
24 January 2005 – 8 September 2005
Acting until 4 February 2005
|Preceded by||Mykola Azarov (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Yuriy Yekhanurov|
|Minister of Fuel and Energy|
30 December 1999 – 19 January 2001
|Prime Minister||Viktor Yushchenko|
|Preceded by||Aleksey Sheberstov (Energy)|
|Succeeded by||Viktor Yushchenko (Acting)|
|Born||Yulia Volodymyrivna Grigyan
27 November 1960
Dnipropetrovsk, Soviet Union
|Political party||Hromada (1997–1999)
All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" (1999–present)
|Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (2001–2012)
Dictatorship Resistance Committee (2011–present)
|Spouse(s)||Oleksandr Tymoshenko (1979–present)|
|Alma mater||National Mining University of Ukraine
Dnipropetrovsk National University
Kiev National Economic University
Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko (Ukrainian: Юлія Володимирівна Тимошенко, pronounced [ˈjulijɑ ʋɔlɔˈdɪmɪriʋnɑ tɪmɔˈʃɛnkɔ]), née Grigyan (Ukrainian: Григян), 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. Tymoshenko is the leader of the All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland"; which is the second biggest political party in Ukraine.
Tymoshenko 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. She placed third in Forbes Magazine's List of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women 2005. 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).
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 European Union and other international organizations sees the conviction as "justice being applied selectively under political motivation". The European Union has shelved the European Union Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with Ukraine over the issue.
Tymoshenko is currently being held in Kharkiv, where since May 2012 she is receiving treatment at a hospital after being diagnosed with a spinal disc herniation Tymoshenko has been on two hunger strikes since her imprisonment. In January 2013, Tymoshenko was formally notified in her connection[clarification needed] with killing of oligarch and lawmaker Yevhen Shcherban back in 1996.
Yulia Tymoshenko (born Grigyan) was born 27 November 1960, in Dnipropetrovsk, Soviet 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 from high school in 1977. In 1979, Yulia married Oleksandr Tymoshenko, son of a mid-level Soviet official. In 1980 their daughter Yevhenia (Eugenia) was born.
In 1978 Tymoshenko joined the mining department of the 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.
After graduating from the Dnipropetrovsk State University in 1984 Tymoshenko worked as an engineer-economist in a "Dnipro Machine-Building Plant" in Dnipropetrovsk (the factory produced missiles) until 1988.
In 1988, as part of the perestroika initiatives, Yulia and Oleksandr Tymoshenko borrowed 5000 Soviet rubles and opened a video rental cooperative, perhaps with the help of Oleksander's father Gennadi Tymoshenko, who presided over a regional film distribution network in the provincial council.
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, In 1995 this company was reorganized into United Energy Systems of Ukraine. Tymoshenko was the president of United Energy Systems of Ukraine, a privately owned middleman company that became the main importer of Russian natural gas to Ukraine in 1997. 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. In the period 1995–1997 Tymoshenko was considered one of the richest business people in Ukraine. But Tymoshenko's business was destroyed by political means in 1998. Since 1998, Tymoshenko was one of the most important politicians in Ukraine. Since 2006, she has no longer been ranked even as one of the "100 richest Ukrainians".
Yulia Tymoshenko entered politics in 1997, and was elected to the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament) from Bobrynets, Kirovohrad Oblast, winning a record 92.3% of the vote in her constituency replacing in that constituency Vasyl Durdynets who in June 1996 became the First Vice Prime Minister. In Parliament Tymoshenko joined the pro-presidential faction Constitutional Centre instead of the Lazarenko-led Unity.
Late in November 1997 the General Prosecutor of Ukraine asked the Verkhovna Rada to lift Tymoshenko's parliamentary immunity because of accusations she had attempted to smuggle $26,000 from Ukraine to Moscow in 1995. In late 1997 Tymoshenko called for the next Ukrainian Presidential elections to be held not in 1999 but in the fall of 1998.
Tymoshenko was re-elected in 1998 as number 6 on the party list of Hromada. She was again elected winning a constituency in the Kirovohrad Oblast. Tymoshenko was a leading figure in the party, and became the Chair of the Budget Committee of the Verkhovna Rada. After Hromada's party leader Pavlo Lazarenko fled to the United States in the spring of 1999 to avoid investigations for embezzlement, various faction members left Hromada to join other parliamentary factions, among them Tymoshenko who set up the All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" faction.
From late December 1999 to January 2001, Tymoshenko was the Deputy Prime Minister for the fuel and energy sector in the cabinet of Viktor Yushchenko. She officially left parliament on 2 March 2000. 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 percent. She scrapped the practice of barter in the electricity market, requiring industrial customers to pay for their electricity in cash. She also terminated exemptions for many organizations which excluded them from having their power disconnected. Her reforms meant that the government had sufficient funds to pay civil servants and increase salaries. Tymoshenko 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.
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. Her political supporters organized several protest rallies near the Lukyanivska Prison where she was held in custody. 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. This case was reopened in Ukraine on 24 October 2011.
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.
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.
9 February 2001, Tymoshenko founded the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc (the National Salvation Committee merged into it), a political bloc that received 7.2% 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.
11 August 2001 civilian and military prosecutors in Russia opened a new criminal case against Tymoshenko accusing her of bribery. On 27 December 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 on 25 September 2005. Tymoshenko never traveled to Russia during her first seven months as Prime Minister (the first Tymoshenko Government).
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. Her Mercedes, part of a four-vehicle convoy, collided with a Lada in Kiev. The driver of the other car suffered head injuries and police said initial investigations suggested that Tymoshenko's chauffeur had been at fault.
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 should 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 22 November 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.
On 24 January 2005, Tymoshenko was appointed acting Prime Minister of Ukraine under Yushchenko's presidency. On 4 February, Tymoshenko's premiership appointment was ratified by the parliament with an overwhelming majority of 373 votes (226 were required for approval). On 28 July, Forbes named her the third most powerful woman in the world, behind only Condoleezza Rice and Wu Yi. However, in the magazine's list published on 1 September 2006, Tymoshenko was not included in the top 100.
Several months into her government, internal conflicts within the post‐Revolution coalition began to damage Tymoshenko's administration. On 8 September, after the resignation of several senior officials, including the Head of the Security and Defense Council Petro Poroshenko and Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Tomenko, Yulia Tymoshenko's government was dismissed by President Viktor Yushchenko during a live television address to the nation. She was succeeded as Prime Minister by Yuriy Yehanurov. 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.
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.
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. Tymoshenko again reiterated her stance in regard to becoming Prime Minister. 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.
On Wednesday 21 June 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.
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. Within a few days after the coalition agreement had been signed, it became clear that the coalition members mistrusted each other, 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.
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. 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.
Following a surprise nomination of Oleksandr Moroz from the Socialist Party of Ukraine as the Rada speaker and his subsequent election late on 6 July 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 7 July). After the creation of a large coalition of majority, led by the former prime minister Viktor Yanukovych and composed of the Party of Regions, the Socialist Party of Ukraine, and the Communist Party of Ukraine, Yanukovych became Prime Minister, and the other two parties were left in the wilderness. Whilst Tymoshenko immediately announced that her political force would be in opposition to the new government, Our Ukraine stalled until 4 October 2006, when it too joined the opposition. Following the 2007 Ukrainian political crisis new elections were called.
Tymoshenko wrote an article called "Containing Russia" in the May–June 2007 edition of the journal Foreign Affairs. In the article she criticized the Russian expansionism. Consequently, the article irked Russia and more than a week after 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."
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.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov wrote an article called "Containing Russia: Back To The Future?" 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".
Following balloting in the 2007 parliamentary elections held on 30 September 2007, Orange Revolution parties said they had won enough votes to form a governing coalition. On 3 October 2007, an almost final tally gave the alliance of Tymoshenko and President Yushchenko a slim lead over the rival party of Prime Minister Yanukovych. Although Yanukovych, whose party won the single biggest share of the vote, also claimed victory, one of his coalition allies, the Socialist Party of Ukraine, failed to gain enough votes to retain seats in Parliament.
On 15 October 2007, the 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. On 29 November, a coalition was signed between the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc, which was associated with President Yushchenko. Both parties are affiliated with the Orange Revolution. On 18 December, Tymoshenko was once again elected as Prime Minister, supported by 226 deputies (the minimal amount needed for passage), heading the second Tymoshenko Government.
The coalition of Tymoshenko's Bloc (BYuT) and Yushchenko's Our Ukraine–People's Self-Defense Bloc (OU-PSD) was put at risk due to differing opinions concerning 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 accuse her of 'high treason'. According to BYuT, Viktor Baloha (Chief of Staff of the Presidential Secretariat) 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.
After Tymoshenko's BYuT voted alongside the Communist Party of Ukraine and the Party of Regions to pass legislation that would facilitate the procedure of impeachment for future Presidents 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 the legislation and threatened to hold 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 8 October 2008.
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". The election was initially to be held 7 December 2008, but later postponed to an unknown date. Tymoshenko had no intention of resigning until a new coalition was formed.
Early December 2008 there were negotiations between BYuT and Party of Regions to form a coalition but after Volodymyr Lytvyn was elected Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament of Ukraine) 9 December 2008 he announced the creation of a coalition between his Lytvyn Bloc, BYuT and OU-PSD. After negotiations the three parties officially signed the coalition agreement on 16 December. It was unsure if this coalition would stop the snap election although Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn predicted the Verkhovna Rada will work until 2012.
On 5 February 2009 the second Tymoshenko cabinet survived a second no-confidence vote in the Ukrainian Parliament (the first was rejected on 11 July 2008). In February 2009 the relations between Tymoshenko and President Yushchenko, the Secretariat of the President of Ukraine and the oppositional Party of Regions remained hostile. According to Tymoshenko her conflict with the President was a political competition and not ideological antagonism, and she emphasized early in February 2009 that the "election struggle for the next presidential elections has virtually begun".
After long being considered a possible candidate for President of Ukraine in the 2010 election, Tymoshenko announced that she would indeed compete in the upcoming presidential election in a statement broadcast live on national TV on 7 June 2009, despite previous statements (made in 2008) that she did not intend to become president. Tymoshenko did state that if she lost the presidential election she would not challenge the results. On 12 September 2009 a tour called "With Ukraine in Heart" in support of Tymoshenko's candidacy began on Kiev's Maidan Nezalezhnosti. Popular Ukrainian singers and bands took part in the tour.
Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko formally endorsed Yulia Tymoshenko as their candidate for the next Presidential election; the first-round ballot was scheduled to be held on 17 January 2010. The Tymoshenko candidacy was also endorsed by prominent Ukrainian politicians such as Borys Tarasyuk, Yuriy Lutsenko, former President Leonid Kravchuk, the Christian Democratic Union, the European Party of Ukraine and Forward, Ukraine!. Analysts suggested that she was the Russian Government's preferred candidate in the election; on 3 December 2009 Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin denied this. Putin stated he was cooperating with Tymoshenko as Prime Minister of Ukraine, but that he was not supporting her in the election.
Tymoshenko's campaign was expected to have cost $100 to $150 million.
On 1 December 2009 Tymoshenko urged "national democratic forces" to unite, after the first round of the presidential elections, around the candidate who garnered 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". On 5 December 2009 she declared she would go into opposition if she would lose 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.
In the first round of the presidential election on 17 January 2010, Tymoshenko took second place with 25% of the vote and Yanukovych took first place with 35%. The two proceeded to the runoff round (Tymoshenko did not receive endorsement from (other) candidates who had not survived the first round) held on 7 February 2010, in which Yanukovych was elected President of Ukraine with 48.95% of the votes; Tymoshenko received 45.4% of the votes. Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc members immediately claimed that there was systematic and large-scale vote rigging in this run-off. However Tymoshenko herself did not issue a statement about the election until a live televised broadcast on 13 February 2010 in which she said that she would 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 into the streets to protest and stated she "won't tolerate civil confrontation".
On 10 February 2010 Yanukovych called on Tymoshenko to abandon her protests and resign as Prime Minister. Yanukovych stated he wanted to form a new coalition, and may try to call snap parliamentary elections. On 12 February Yanukovych stated he did not rule out talks with Tymoshenko if she would publicly apologize to him for the accusations she made during her election campaign. Tymoshenko's government did not want to resign voluntarily.
On 17 February 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. Tymoshenko withdrew her appeal on 20 February 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. 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". 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". The same day (20 February) Tymoshenko announced that she would not challenge the results of the second round of the presidential election in the Supreme Court of Ukraine since she believed there were no legal provisions for such an appeal.
During a nationally televised address on 22 February Tymoshenko said of President-elect of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and "Yanukovych's team" (she referred to them in the speech as "The oligarchy"): "They need cheap labour, 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 7 February runoff of the January 2010 presidential election by amending the election law. During a Cabinet of Ministers meeting on 24 February 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". Tymoshenko and her party, Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko, boycotted the inauguration ceremony of President Yanukovych (on 25 February 2010).
If the Second Tymoshenko Government could not be preserved Tymoshenko stated on 22 February 2010 she would go into Parliamentary opposition. On 3 March 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 (including seven lawmakers of Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko). On 1 March 2010 Prime Minister Tymoshenko had demanded this vote herself. On 2 March 2010 the coalition had already lost the parliamentary majority. Before the vote on 3 March 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". 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. Tymoshenko resigned from the Prime Minister post on 4 March 2010. Fellow BYuT member Oleksandr Turchynov was empowered to fulfill the Prime Minister's duties until a new government was formed on 4 March 2010. On 9 and 15 March 2010 Tymoshenko called on "all of the national patriotic forces" to unite against Yanukovych. On 10 March 2010 Viktor Yushchenko warned that her leadership of that opposition would end in disaster "Every political force that united with Tymoshenko ended badly". On 16 March a shadow government including BYuT was established. On 10 May 2010 the People's Committee to Protect Ukraine was established of which Tymoshenko is one of the representatives. Tymoshenko was against the 2010 Ukrainian-Russian Naval Base for Natural Gas treaty, she believes the agreements harm Ukraine's national interests.
Ukraine's prosecutor's office re-opened on 12 May 2010 a 2004 criminal case against Tymoshenko on accusations she had tried to bribe Supreme Court judges. The prosecutor's main investigation section said Tymoshenko had been called in on 12 May 2010 and formally told that the case, which had been prematurely closed by the Supreme Court of Ukraine in January 2005 without a proper investigation, had been re-opened. As she left the prosecutor's office on 12 May, Tymoshenko told journalists she had been summoned to see investigators again on 17 May and she linked the move to Russian President Medvedev's visit to Ukraine on 17–18 May 2010. Tymoshenko also claimed that she was told by "all the offices of the Prosecutor General's Office" that President Yanukovych had personally instructed the Prosecutor General's Office to find any grounds to prosecute her. In a press conference 12 May, President Yanukovych's representative in the Verkhovna Rada Yury Miroshnychenko dismissed Tymoshenko's statement about Yanukovych's personal interest in prosecuting her, Yanukovych is against political repression for criticism of the regime, Miroshnychenko stated.
On 15 December 2010 the General Prosecutor's Office instituted a criminal case against Tymoshenko, alleging that she misused funds received by Ukraine within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol. She was officially charged on 20 December 2010. Tymoshenko denied the money had been spent on pensions and insisted it was still at the disposal of the environment ministry and called the investigation against her a witch-hunt. Tymoshenko was not arrested, but ordered not to leave Kiev while the inquiry was under way. In the same case the environment minister in the second Tymoshenko Government, Georgiy Filipchuk, was detained. Filipchuk was the third minister from this government to face criminal charges since its fall in March 2010 (prosecutors charged former Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko with abuse of office early December 2010 and former economy minister Bohdan Danylyshyn was detained in the Czech Republic in October 2010 on similar charges). Lawmakers of BYuT blocked the rostrum and presidium of the Verkhovna Rada the next day in protest against this. The same day the European People's Party issued a statement in which it "condemns the growth of aggressive, politically motivated pressure by the Ukrainian authorities on the opposition and its leader Yulia Tymoshenko". Tymoshenko dismissed the probe as "terror against the opposition by President Yanukovych". Earlier that month Ukraine's Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka had stated that there were no political reasons for the interrogations of the opposition leaders Tymoshenko, Lutsenko and Oleksandr Turchynov. According to government officials the criminal case against Tymoshenko was a legitimate attempt to uncover corruption by the previous administration. New corruption charges against Tymoshenko where filed in on 27 January 2011. She was accused of using 1,000 medical vehicles for campaigning in the presidential elections of 2010. According to Tymoshenko the charges were false and part of "Yanukovych's campaign to silence the opposition". A third criminal case against Tymoshenko in connection with alleged abuse of power during the 2009 Russia-Ukraine gas dispute was opened on 10 April 2011. This case was labelled "absurd" by Tymoshenko. On 24 May 2011 prosecutors charged her in connection with this (third criminal) case. She was not arrested.
On 26 April 2011 Tymoshenko sued businessman Dmytro Firtash and Swiss-based RosUkrEnergo in a US District Court in Manhattan accusing them of "defrauding Ukraine's citizenry by manipulating an arbitration court ruling, "undermining the rule of law in Ukraine" in connection with an 2010 international arbitration court ruling in Stockholm that ordered Ukraine's state energy company Naftogaz to pay RosUkrEnergo 11 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas to compensate for fuel it had "expropriated" plus 1.1 billion bcm as a penalty.
Throughout Yanukovych's presidency Tymoshenko stayed very critical about his and the Azarov Government performance and intentions which, among others, she accused of selling out to Russia and of being a "funeral of democracy". Tymoshenko has accused "many of Ukraine's neighbours" of turning a blind eye to "Yanukovych's strangulation of Ukraine's democracy, some openly celebrate the supposed "stability" that his regime has imposed". She believes "Ukraine can return to a democratic path of development only with an active civil society and support from the international community".
Tymoshenko's trial (she was charged in May 2011) over abuse of office over a natural gas imports contract signed with Russia in January 2009 started on 24 June 2011 in Kiev. Also a number of criminal cases were opened against former officials from the second Tymoshenko Government. According to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych those cases were indiscriminately made to fight corruption in Ukraine. Former President Viktor Yushchenko testified against Tymoshenko during the trial; a trial he called "a normal judicial process". On the other hand the trial against Tymoshenko has been rated as "selective justice" and "political persecution" in statements by the U.S.A, Russia, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain and other European countries; and in statements of the European Union, NATO, the European People's Party; as well as by human rights organizations: Transparency International, Freedom House, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Currently Tymoshenko is under criminal investigation for ten criminal acts; Ukrainian prosecutors have claimed she had committed more criminal acts.
Early in July 2011, the Ukrainian security service (USB) opened a new criminal investigation into alleged non-delivery by United Energy Systems of Ukraine (in 1996) of goods to Russia for $405.5 million, the USB maintains that Russia may claim this sum to the State budget of Ukraine (this criminal case was closed in Russia in December 2005 years by reason of lapse of time).
On 11 October 2011, the court found Tymoshenko guilty of abuse of power, sentenced her to seven years in jail, and ordered her to pay the state $188 million. She was convicted for exceeding her powers as Prime Minister, by ordering Naftogaz to sign the gas deal with Russia in 2009. Tymoshenko did appeal against the sentence on 24 October 2011; which she compared to Stalin's Great Terror.
A 2001 criminal case on state funds embezzlement and tax evasion charges against Tymoshenko was reopened in Ukraine on 24 October 2011. Since late October 2011 Ukrainian prosecutors are investigating whether Tymoshenko was involved in the murder of Yevhen Shcherban.
Tymoshenko was re-arrested (while in prison) on 8 December 2011, after a Ukrainian court ordered her indefinite arrest, as part of the investigation of alleged tax evasion and theft of government funds (between 1996 and 2000) by United Energy Systems of Ukraine; again the European Union showed concern over this.
Tymoshenko lost her appeal against her sentence of abuse of power of 11 October 2011 on 23 December 2011. She and her lawyers had boycotted the appeal proceedings claiming "Judicial system and justice are totally non-existent in Ukraine today". Tymoshenko has lodged a complaint against the verdict at the European Court of Human Rights, which was given priority treatment by the court.
Since early April 2012 the General Prosecutor's Office is examining the involvement of Tymoshenko and former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko in the murder of Donetsk businessman Olexandr Momot in 1996.
The trial for the in July 2011 opened criminal investigation into alleged misappropriating public funds of United Energy Systems of Ukraine started on 19 April 2012 in Kharkiv. Tymoshenko refused to attend the trial, citing problems with her health. Tymoshenko was then moved against her will from Kachanivska prison to a hospital where she entered a hungerstrike on 20 April to protest – according to her lawyer Serhiy Vlasenko – "what is happening in the country and what is happening to her in prison". She ended the hungerstrike on 9 May 2012. Since 9 May 2012 she is receiving treatment at the hospital after being diagnosed with a spinal disc herniation
Tymoshenko wants her country to become a member of the EU, while she is also concerned about antagonizing Russia. "I try to defend our interests so that we can find a balance in our relations both with the EU and Russia". Tymoshenko supports Ukraine joining NATO stating it would be "uncomfortable" for Ukraine to remain "in a void, outside all existing security systems". But, according to Tymoshenko, the question of Ukraine's joining any system of collective security would "be resolved only by referendum." Tymoshenko is in favour of close relations with the EU, including the creation of a free trade area between Ukraine and EU and later a full membership, preferably in 2015. 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." She is 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". 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".
According to Tymoshenko, Ukraine is a "unitary and indivisible state". Tymoshenko considers separatist attitudes in Ukraine unacceptable; "Love one another, from Donetsk, Crimea, Luhansk, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Lviv, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kiev and all the other corners of our native land". According to Tymoshenko, citizens in the Russian-speaking Dnipropetrovsk already understood Ukrainian in Soviet times and that problems surrounding the Russian language in Ukraine were being "exaggerated and don't exist".
Tymoshenko opposes the introduction of Russian as a second official state language, and she does not believe the rights of Russian speakers are violated in current Ukraine. 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".
The first Tymoshenko Government planned to renationalise 3,000 firms but the cabinet was sacked before those plans could materialise. Tymoshenko believes that Ukraine's economy is excessively monopolized. Some Ukrainian politicians and academics have described her politically as a state socialist. Tymoshenko is against privatization of the gas transportation system in Ukraine. Tymoshenko lists the recovery of the economy of Ukraine during the 2008–2009 Ukrainian financial crisis as one of her achievements. The second Tymoshenko Government has spent 1.6 billion hryvnya on updating coal mines.
Tymoshenko wants to increase a rise in the general level of social standards by equalizing salaries in the industrial and social spheres and pledged in November 2009 to revamp Ukraine's hospitals and health system within two years and tax breaks for farmers. Other economic 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. 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. In December 2009, the second Tymoshenko Government proposed creating independent anti-corruption bureaus in Ukraine.
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.
Tymoshenko is for the cancellation of Verkhovna Rada deputies' immunity from prosecution. For Ukraine Tymoshenko prefers the proportional representation voting system with open lists. Tymoshenko wants to reform the forming of state executive bodies and favours giving parliamentary opposition "real instruments of influence on the authorities", wants Ukrainian court system reforms and wants to re-transfer executive power to local authorities. Tymoshenko want Ukrainians "to live in a dictatorship of the constitution and the law". In the summer of 2009, Tymoshenko claimed she tried to bring together different political parties in order to amend the constitution and switch to a parliamentary form of government.
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 (Tymoshenko has argued those reform were "incomplete" and the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc voted against them in December 2004). In January 2010, Tymoshenko called for urgent amendments to the Constitution via the majority of the Verkhovna Rada after a survey or plebiscite is conducted. In April 2011 she still believed the constitution "didn't work".
In February 2011, Tymoshenko stated "Viktor Yanukovych’s naked attempt to hijack the election that precipitated the Orange Revolution should have resulted in him being banned from running in future elections". She also believes "building a genuine civil society" is the best way to help democracy.
Yulia Tymoshenko (born Grigyan; was born 27 November 1960, in Dnipropetrovsk, (Soviet) Ukraine. Her mother's name is Ludmila Nikolaevna Telegina. Her father is Vladimir Abramovich Grigyan.
Ludmila Nikolaevna Telegina (born Nelepova), was born 11 August 1937, in Dnipropetrovsk.
In the Ukrainian media there has been a lot of speculation regarding the genealogy of Tymoshenko. Some of the hypotheses have no scientific evidence (for example, the hypothesis of the Armenian origin of the surname "Grigan");  some of the hypotheses (concerning her Jewish roots) have been labelled as provocative, or could be designed to create negative PR.
About her ethnicity, Yulia Tymoshenko herself has said: "On my father’s side – everyone is Latvian for ten generations, and on my mother's side – everyone is Ukrainian for ten generations." Tymoshenko's parents were both born in Ukraine and are, therefore, Ukrainian as defined by the Law on Citizenship of Ukraine and by the Ukrainian Constitution.
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 with all former-Presidents of Ukraine, who are all living in state-owned dachas in Koncha-Zaspa. According to Ukrainian media Tymoshenko lives in an 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 had been studying the Ukrainian language and Ukrainian literature at the school for 10 years, as all schoolchildren in Soviet Ukraine). In January 2010 Tymoshenko stated that in Dnipropetrovsk she did not have to speak Ukrainian until she was 36 (i.e. 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".
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 (seemingly luxurious) lifestyle have been pointed out in the Ukrainian media.
When Tymoshenko joined the Yushchenko Government she did not 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 in opinion polls fell. In early 2008 in opinion polls for the Ukrainian presidential election, 2009 she stood at 30% but by late-April 2009 that had shrunk to 15% According to a poll carried out between 29 January and 5 February 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 3 and 12 February 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 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 Condoleezza Rice and Wu Yi), in 2008 she was 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 the Daily Mail and 20 Minutos in 2009. In December 2011 Tymoshenko's party BYuT-Batkivschyna nominated her for the Nobel Peace Prize.
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 11 February 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 13 May 2010 "She likes to create a sensation. We have grown used to this extravagant woman".
In some press-media Tymoshenko is sometimes referred to as Lady Yu (Ледi Ю, Леди Ю).
Opinion polls since early 2011 show that the percentage of votes that Tymoshenko would gain in a future presidential election stands about 15%.
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