Yulia Tymoshenko

Born:November 27, 1960 (age 61)
Career:Prime minister of Ukraine, 2005 and 2007-2010
Party:Hromada; All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland"; Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc
Education:Dnipropetrovsk National University

Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko served as the prime minister of Ukraine twice: January to September 2005 and again from December 2007 until March 2010. Tymoshenko was Ukraine's first female prime minister.

Tymoshenko was born on November 27, 1960, in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukrainian SSR (now Ukraine). Upon graduating from high school in 1979, she continued her education at Dnipropetrovsk State University. Her major was economics-cybernetics in the Department of Economics. In 1984, Tymoshenko graduated with distinction. She started to work as an engineer-economist at the Dnipropetrovsk machine-building plant, named after Lenin.

From 1989 to 1991, Tymoshenko was a commercial director of the Dnipropetrovsk Youth Center "Terminal." From 1991, she was a CEO of the corporation "Ukrainskiy Benzin" (Ukrainian Gasoline). In 1995, Tymoshenko became the president of United Energy Systems of Ukraine (UESU). At the end of 1996, she became a candidate to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Supreme Rada of Ukraine). She received a majority of votes (92.3%) in her Bobrinsky Congressional District # 229, which is located in Kirovograd Region.

In 1998, she served as the head of the Budget Strategic Committee of the Verkhovna Rada. During her work in this position, Tymoshenko developed projects regarding budget and taxation codes, a new system of pension and medical security, and a mechanism for paying off pension and salary debts. Tymoshenko, for the second time, became a representative of Verkhovna Rada, and, again, led the Budget Committee in the parliament. Under her leadership, legislation on taxation, social codes and pension reformations was developed.

In 1999, Tymoshenko became the leader of All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland". Also in 1999, she defended her thesis titled "National Regulations of the Taxation System" and became a candidate (equivalent to Ph.D.) of economic studies. Her scientific activity did not end there. Since, Tymoshenko has written more than 50 scientific papers. On December 30, 1999, Tymoshenko took the post of Vice Prime Minister on the issues of fuel and energy complex. During this period, Tymoshenko developed the "Energy Concept of Ukraine" and the anti-corruption program "Clean Energy."

In January of 2001, Tymoshenko was dispatched from the position of Vice Prime Minister. On February 13, 2001 she was arrested and charged by the district attorney, which the public interpreted as a punishment for her democratic movement. In March, however, the Kiev City Pechersk Court found that the accusations were baseless and annulled the sanctions for the arrest. On February 9, 2001, Tymoshenko became an initiator of the Forum of National Salvation (FNS). This public union's main objective was to get rid of Kuchma's (Communist Party) criminal regime. In November of 2001, the participants of the union decide to rename the FNS into the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc. As the head of this party, Tymoshenko participated in the parliamentary elections. As the result of the elections, the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc received more than 20 seats in the Verkhovna Rada.

In September of 2002, Tymoshenko, as one of the parliamentary opposition leaders, headed the All-Ukrainian movement "Rebell, Ukraine!" This became the first serious strike of Ukrainian opposition and first action of public strike, during which there were a lot of street protests. In 2004, the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc and the Viktor Yushchenko Bloc announced the creation of the coalition "People's Power" in order to support Victor Yushenko's presidential candidacy during the October 2004 election. In November, Tymoshenko became one of the leaders of the Orange Revolution, which secured Yushenko's win in the presidential elections. On February 4th, 2005, the Verkhovna Rada declared Tymoshenko as the prime minister (head of government) with 373 votes. In September 2005, Tymoshenko left the position, as the result of an artificial political crisis, and Yuriy Yekhanurov was appointed acting prime minister by President Yushchenko.

In March 2006, during the parliamentary elections, the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc obtained victory in Kiev as well as half of Ukraine's regions, receiving the majority of votes amongst the democratic forces. On December 18, 2007, Tymoshenko was again elected as Prime Minister of Ukraine. On October 24, 2009, the Congress of the All-Ukrainian Union, "Batkivshchyna," was held in Kyiv's Independence Square, during which the delegates and close to 200,000 citizens of independent Ukraine nominated Tymoshenko as a candidate for president.

On May 9, 2010, a Viche of the national-patriotic forces of Ukraine adopted a resolution on the creation of a united democratic opposition. Tymoshenko was chosen as the leader. In March 2010, Tymoshenko initiated the creation of an opposition government whose job was to monitor the work of the ruling government and offer proposals for the country's positive development. She also signed, on behalf, of Batkivshchyna a memorandum with representatives of parliamentary and non-parliamentary political forces to create the Committee to Defend Ukraine, which coordinates activities to protect Ukraine's national interests.

In 2011, Tymoshenko was tried and convicted of abusing her power as prime minister for signing a gas deal with Russia in 2009. She was sentenced to seven years in jail and to pay a fine of $188 million. On August 29, 2012, an appeal against her conviction was heard by the Ukrainian high court and was rejected. After her imprisonment, the European Union, United States, Russia and Amnesty International called into question the fairness of her trial and resulting sentence.

Following the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution, the parliament voted for her release. However, President Yanukovych fled the country without signing the bill into law. On February 22, 2014 the Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Council of Ukraine) adopted a decree based on the decision of the European Court of Human Rights and corresponding decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, and Tymoshenko was released the same day. On February 28, 2014 the parliament restored Tymoshenko's rights.

In March 2014, Tymoshenko announced her candidacy for the 2014 presidential election, but lost the election. After the 2014 parliamentary election, Tymoshenko became faction leader. She is a member of the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada on issues of European integration in the 8th convocation of parliament.