Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko, born 27 November 1960, is a Ukrainian politician and businesswoman. She co-led the Orange Revolution and was the first female Prime Minister of Ukraine, serving from 24 January to 8 September 2005, and again from 18 December 2007 to 11 March 2010.
Tymoshenko is the leader of the All-Ukrainian Union “Fatherland” political party, which received the second most votes in the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election, winning 101 of parliament’s 450 seats.
Tymoshenko was a candidate in the Ukrainian presidential elections of 2010, but lost that election to Viktor Yanukovych. After the election, a number of criminal cases were brought against her. On 11 October 2011, she was convicted of embezzlement and abuse of power, and sentenced to seven years in prison and ordered to pay the state $188 million. The prosecution and conviction were viewed by many countries and international organizations – most prominently the European Union – as politically biased. She was released on 22 February 2014, in the concluding days of the “Maidan revolution”, following a revision of the Ukrainian criminal code that effectively decriminalized the actions for which she was imprisoned.
Prior to her political career, Tymoshenko was a successful but controversial businesswoman in the gas industry, becoming by some estimates one of the richest people in the country. In 2005 she placed third in the Forbes Magazine’s list of the world’s most powerful women.
Tymoshenko strives for Ukraine’s integration into the European Union and strongly opposes the membership of Ukraine in the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia.