Tymoshenko was born in Dnipopetrovsk, as the daughter of Ludmila Nikolaevna Telegina and Vladimir Abramovich Hryhyan (her father left the family when Yulia was three years old). She took the surname of her mother, under which she graduated. In 1979 Tymoshenko married Oleksandr Tymoshenko, son of a mid-level Soviet communist party bureaucrat. Tymoshenko graduated from the Dinpropetrovsk State University with a degree in economics in 1984 and went on to gain a candidate degree (equivalent to 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, bit did not graduate there. Yulia Tymoshenko moved into politics in 1996 and was elected to the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine parliament) from the Kirovohrad Oblast, winning a record 92.3% of the vote in her constituency. In Parliament she then joins the faction Constitutional Centre. She was re-elected in 1998 on the party list of Hromada 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 1999 to avoid investigations for embezzlement various faction members left Hromada to join other paliamentary faction, among them Tymoshenko who set up the All-Ukrainian Union Fatherland faction. From 1999 to 2001 Tymoshenko was the Deputy Prime Minister for fuel and energy sector in the cabinet of Viktor Yuschenko. She was fired by President Leonid Kuchma in January 2001 after developing a conflict with oligarchs in the industry. Soon after her dismissal Tymoshenko led the loose organization 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 of gas between 1995 and 1997 (while president of United Energy Systems of Ukraine) but 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, under the influence of oligarchs threatened by her efforts to root out corruption and institute market-based reforms. In spite of being cleared of the charges, Moskow maintained an arrest warrant for Tymoshenko should she enter Russia until her dismissal as Prime Minister over for years later.
Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko is managing Ukraine's economic meltdown; Ukraine's first female prime minister negotiated over $16 billion in a two-year Stand-By Arrangement with the IMF to counter adverse economic affects of the drop in steel prices and mounting foreign debt. Spiking inflation, contracting GDP and concerns about Kiev's ability to pay for Russian gas imports are also weighing heavily on Tymoshenko's 2010 presidential campaign. Has been making nice with former adversary, billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, member of the opposition Party of Regions. She regained her prime minister post in December 2007 after being sacked two years earlier in part due to criticism for moves against assets allegedly sold cheaply to billionaires.