Yulia Rated ‘07 Person Of The Year

KIEV, Ukraine -- Newly elected Premier Yulia Tymoshenko was selected “Personality of the Year” by Korrespondent magazine. The fiery 47-year-old won the rating for the second time for “impacting events the most in Ukraine” said Vitaliy Sych, the magazine’s editor-in-chief.

Premier Yulia Tymoshenko was ranked Person of the Year by Korrespondent magazine for the impact she made on the country in 2007.

The Post’s sister publication printed its sixth annual rating in its Dec. 22 issue.

“She convinced the president, for the first time in independent Ukraine’s history, to dismiss the parliament and hold early elections,” according to the magazine.

Korrespondent’s editors and journalists named 10 people who “astonished or shocked Ukraine” in the past year. Ten non-Ukrainians were also selected, with Russian President Vladimir Putin earning the “Tsar of the Year” designation.

“I think Yulia is probably the most charismatic female politician in the world right now,” said Ilko Kucheriv, director of the Democratic Initiatives think tank based in Kyiv.

“She’s also an excellent organizer. Two months prior to the most recent parliamentary elections, her party Byut and [the pro-presidential] Our Ukraine were head-to-head with 17-18 percent ratings. Tymoshenko nearly doubled those figures on election day.”

Superhuman powers

The magazine attributed its choice to Tymoshenko’s “superhuman persistence in achieving goals” and her ability “to combine things others are incapable of doing.”

One example the weekly cited is Tymoshenko’s extraordinary ability to live in a $4 million dollar residence in an elite Kyiv suburb and satisfy her penchant for Louis Vuitton apparel and accessories on a modest income.

According to her income statement, she earned only $30,000 last year and does not actually own the high-end property where she resides. At the same time, she promises to adamantly fight corruption.

“When publications name persons of the year, they don’t necessarily conduct them as popularity contests and they are not positive figures all the time,” explained Mykhailo Mischenko, deputy director of sociological services at the Kyiv-based Razumkov Center.

Previous winners

Selection criteria for “Personality of the Year” have remained the same from the outset: editorial staff takes into consideration the quantity and magnitude of events surrounding certain politicians, officials, businessmen and cultural figures.

Tymoshenko first won the nomination in 2005, shortly after her government was dismissed. Socialist Party leader Oleksandr Moroz was deemed the most influential personality in 2006 after he joined the Communist Party and Party of the Regions to form the anti-Orange “Anti-crisis Coalition.”

President Viktor Yushchenko was named in 2004, the year the Orange Revolution swept him into the presidency. In 2003 the honor went to two Viktors: Medvedchuk (then head of the Presidential Administration) and Yushchenko.

In 2002, the first year Korrespondent conducted the rating, President Leonid Kuchma was deemed to have the greatest impact on the country.

A close second

“This was the first year we truly wanted to name somebody other than a politician. Hryhoriy Surkis, the president of the Football Federation of Ukraine, came in a close second for single-handedly bringing the 2012 UEFA European Soccer Championship to Ukraine,” Sych said.

“But Tymoshenko tipped the scales because of her role in turning the political situation in the country head over heels within the course of a few months,” Sych added. Instead, Surkis was named “Winner of the Year.”

The good, the bad and the ugly

Korrespondent also awarded laurels and darts to Presidential Secretariat Head Viktor Baloha, Kyiv city council secretary Oles Dovhiy, Byut billionaire Konstantin Zhevago, former parliament ary speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, footballer Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, recently elected Rada speaker Arseniy Yatseniuk, Ukraine’s 2007 entry for the Eurovision Song Contest Andriy Danylko (known better by his female stage name of Virka Serdiuchka), Kharkiv Mayor Mykhailo Dobkin and rich kid Serhiy Kalynovskiy, whose mother recently divorced billionaire Dmytri Firtash, a co-owner of the Rosukrenergo natural gas trader.

Kalynovskiy was included in the rating as the “Lawbreaker of the Year” because he disappeared from Ukraine after two people died in a car crash he allegedly caused. Interpol is still looking for him.

Source: Kyiv Post

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