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Yulia Tymoshenko

Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko (Ukrainian: Ю́лія Володи́мирівна Тимоше́нко, pronounced [ˈjulijɑ ʋɔlɔˈdɪmɪriʋnɑ tɪmɔˈʃɛnkɔ], née Hrihyan (Ukrainian: Грігян),[4] 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.[5][6] Tymoshenko is the leader of the All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland", which is the largest opposition political party in Ukraine.[7]Tymoshenko has been a practicing 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,[8] Tymoshenko co-led the Orange Revolution.[9] 

She placed third in Forbes Magazine's List of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women 2005.[10] Tymoshenko was a candidate in the Ukrainian presidential elections of 2010,[11] but lost that election to Viktor Yanukovych (Tymoshenko received 45.47% of the votes in the second and final round[12] of the election, 3% less than her rival[13][14]). In December 2012 the united opposition nominated her and later in June 2013 confirmed her as its candidate in the 2015 Ukrainian presidential election.[15] Tymoshenko strives for Ukraine’s integration into the European Union, strongly opposes the membership of Ukraine in the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia, and supports eradication of post-Soviet corrupt clans in Ukraine.[16]

Since May 2010 a number of criminal cases have been brought against Tymoshenko.[17][18] On June 24, 2011, a trial started in the “gas case,” concerning a contract with Russian gas company Gazprom to supply natural gas to Ukraine, which had been signed in 2009. Tymoshenko was charged with abuse of power and embezzlement, as the allegedly biased court found the deal anti-economic for the country and abusive. On 11 October 2011, a Ukrainian court sentenced Tymoshenko to seven years in prison after she was found guilty of all charges. The sentence resulted in public protests in front of the court house.[19]The trial was viewed by many international organizations, such as the Danish Helsinki Committee, as a politically-charged persecution that violates the law.[20] 

Tymoshenko is currently being held in the Kharkiv-based Central Clinical Hospital No. 5 under police surveillance, where since May 2012 she has been receiving treatment after being diagnosed with a spinal disc herniation.[21][22] Tymoshenko has been on three hunger strikes since her imprisonment.[23][24][25][26][27][28] The European Union and other international organizations see the conviction as "justice being applied selectively under political motivation."[29] The European Union has shelved the European Union Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with Ukraine over the issue.[30][24][31] The EU has repeatedly called for release of Yulia Tymoshenko as a primary condition for signing the EU Association Agreement. [nb 1] [32] The European Court on Human Rights said in its April 30, 2013 judgment that Tymoshenko’s arrest in the case concerning the 2009 gas supply contract had been politically motivated and her rights had been violated.[33] On September 5, 2013, the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) published a report criticising the investigation into allegations that physical force has been used against Yulia Tymoshenko

Early life and career

Yulia Tymoshenko (born Hrihyan[4][35][36]) was born 27 November 1960, in Dnipropetrovsk, Soviet Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union).[37] Her mother, Lyudmila Telehina (née Nelepova), was born 11 August 1937, in Dnipropetrovsk.[38] Her father, Volodymyr Abramovych Hrihyan, was born on 3 December 1937, also in Dnipropetrovsk. ,[38] was born 3 December 1937 in Dnipropetrovsk.[38] Volodymyr Abramovych Hrihyan—who abandoned Lyudmila Telehina and his daughter when Yulia was three years old[39]—was born December 3, 1937, in Dnipropetrovsk and was according to his Soviet passport Latvian.[38] His mother was Maria Yosypivna Hrihyan, born in 1909.[38] 

His father was Abram Kelmanovych Kapitelman (Ukrainian: Абрам Кельманович Капітельман, born in 1914); after graduating from Dnipropetrovsk State University in 1940 Kapitalman was sent to work in Western Ukraine, where he worked "one academic quarter" as the director of a public Jewish school in the city Sniatyn.[38] In the autumn of 1940 Kapitalman was mobilized into the army, he was killed while taking part in World War II on November 8, 1944, with the rank of "lieutenant communications".[38]Volodymyr left the family when Yulia was a year old, and Yulia was raised by her mother alone.[39] Tymoshenko took the surname of her mother, "Telehina", before graduating from high school in 1977.[39][40] In 1979, Yulia married Oleksandr Tymoshenko, son of a mid-level Soviet official.[41] In 1980 their daughter Yevhenia (Eugenia) was born.[42]

Education

In 1977 Tymoshenko graduated from high school with distinction (school № 37 in Dnipropetrovsk).[39][40]
In 1978 Tymoshenko was enrolled in the Automatization and Telemechanics department of the Dnipropetrovsk Mining Institute.[43] 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 first degree honors as an engineer-economist.[44]In 1999, she defended a PhD dissertation, entitled State Regulation of the tax system, at the Kiev National Economic University.[45]

Business career

After graduating from the Dnipropetrovsk State University in 1984, Tymoshenko worked as an engineer-economist in a "Dnipro Machine-Building Plant" in Dnipropetrovsk until 1988 (the factory produced missiles).[46]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.[47]In 1989–1991, Yulia and Oleksandr Tymoshenko founded and headed a commercial video rental company, "Terminal", in Dnipropetrovsk,[42][47] which grew to be quite successful.

In 1991, Tymoshenko established (jointly with her husband Oleksandr, Gennadi Tymoshenko and Olexandr Gravets)[47] "The Ukrainian Petrol Corporation", a company that provided the agriculture industry of Dnipropetrovsk with fuel from 1991 to 1995.[46] Tymoshenko worked as a General Director. In 1995, this company was reorganized into United Energy Systems of Ukraine.[48] 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, from 1995 to January 1, 1997.[37][49][50] During that time she was nicknamed the "gas princess".[51][52] She was also accused of "having given Pavlo Lazarenko kickbacks in exchange for her company's stranglehold on the country's gas supplies",[53] although Judge Martin Jenkins of the US District Court for the Northern District of California, on May 7, 2004, dismissed the allegations of money laundering and conspiracy regarding UESU, Somoli Ent. et al. (companies affiliated with Yulia Tymoshenko) in connection with Lazarenko’s activities.[54] During this period, Tymoshenko was involved in business relations (either co-operative or hostile) with many important figures of Ukraine.[55][56][57] Tymoshenko also had to deal with the management of the Russian corporation, Gazprom.[58] 

Yulia Tymoshenko claims that, under her management, UESU successfully solved significant economic problems: in 1995–1997, Ukraine’s multi-billion debt for Russian natural gas was paid; Ukraine resumed international cooperation in machine building, the pipe industry and construction; and Ukraine’s export of goods to Russia doubled.[59] In the period 1995–1997, Tymoshenko was considered one of the richest business people in Ukraine.[53] When Tymoshenko made her initial foray into national politics, her company became an instrument of political pressure on her and her family. As she said in one of her interviews, she refused to cooperate with Ukraine’s corrupt officials, thus her company was destroyed upon request from president Leonid Kuchma. UESU top management faced prosecution.[60] Since 1998, Tymoshenko has been one of the most important politicians in Ukraine. She was removed from the list of "100 richest Ukrainians" in 2006.[61][62]
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