Sunday, 20 March 2016

Yulia Tymoshenko (LIE): Personality Type Analysis

Yulia Volodymyrivna Tymoshenko is an Ukrainian politician, businesswoman, some would say 'oligarch', twice prime minister, and unsuccessful presidential candidate.

She was born and raised in the communist era, when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, having had a modest childhood and upbringing. Having studied economics and married Oleksandr Tymoshenko, Yulia worked as an economics engineers as the Soviet regime started collapsing in 1989. Then, making use of her husband's government connections, they went into private enterprise, first in video rentals, then in oil-and-gas trading. She swiftly became a multimillionaire. Her career in that regard parallels those of the more famous Russian oligarchs: a combination of seizing opportunities, entrepreneurial spirit, and exploiting connections, all in a situation of legal confusion in the chaotic transition of a state-controlled economy to a largely privatized one as well as of the establishment of Ukraine as an independent country. Whether or not her business activities and enrichment can be called "illicit", at the time and in that context, is debatable - what is clear is that she at least skilfully exploited the loopholes of the legal system (or the absence of one).

After a few years of in the energy business, she entered politics as an MP, becoming deputy prime minister for fuel and energy, due to her knowledge and connection of the sector, which she overhauled. Yet, after two years, she was dismissed, entering the opposition to the then Kuchma government, and briefly arrested for corruption charges.

This is a pattern that has followed her political career to this day: charged with corruption (or other economic crimes), even arrested, then released as the charges are found to be unfounded. She and her supporters say that the charges are always politically motivated; those who oppose her say the opposite.

She became one of the leaders of the so-called "Orange Revolution" in 2004, then prime minister for the first time, then dismissed after clashing with the president, then prime minister again, then finally defeated in the presidential election of 2010, then arrested in 2011 for having supposedly damaged Ukraine in an energy deal with Russia, in what was clearly a political trial, then released in 2014 after the fall of the government.

Yulia Tymoshenko is a very divisive figure in the sense that it seems that most people in Ukraine either love or loathe her. Yet, that does not seem to be connected primarily to her political positions, but rather to whether people see her as mainly an oligarch who "stole from the people" or as a genuine democratic free market reformer. Her political ideology, if it can be called that, is a combination of moving Ukraine closer to the EU and away from Russia, plus economic reforms ostensibly aiming at higher efficiency and freer markets, plus a claim of a deep personal connection to Ukraine as her "destiny".

As her above career already suggests, she has no difficulty digressing at length on economic issues, especially those connected to the energy sector, having also negotiated on that issue single-handedly with Vladimir Putin (LSI) (which is what made her vulnerable to the charges that led her to jail in 2011).

All of the above points strongly to a person confident in P. That it is also a quadra value is demonstrated by her personality: in all videos of one-to-one interviews, as well as of her talking to cabinet ministers, she speaks in a dry, factual manner, with no attempt whatsoever of affecting the emotional atmosphere. Due to her pseudo-charming 'crown braid' image she has adopted since the Orange Revolution, western journalists who meet her for the first time are invariably surprised and taken aback by her true personality.

Before the Orange Revolution, in her 'first incarnation' as a businesswoman and politician, she came across as a soberly dressed woman in her natural dark hair, who liked to appear tough and who made even less effort to appear charming than presently. She completely revamped her image to the present one, including putting up a very friendly façade while receiving flowers from the public and the like - a very transparent PR effort to make her more broadly appealing in a national election. That shows her awareness of the importance of the emotional effect of her public image, as well as the relative clumsiness in which she does it. That suggests E as a non-valued element but not one which she does not acknowledge, fitting best E3.

Not even her admirers deny that she is obsessed by achieving power. She is also known to frequently use language - not joking - like threatening to "skin alive" her ministers if they did not balance their budget on schedule, and, in a leaked conversation, saying she'd like to blow up Vladimir Putin's head herself, with an AK-47. All of that confirms F as a quadra value.

Yet, her two experiences in jail (the first one for 42 days) clearly shook and demoralized her. During the second, she made no secret of her physical collapse and declining health. That would be odd behavior for a F1 or F2 type, suggesting F as a valued but weak function, fitting F6 well.

Although still married to Oleksandr Tymoshenko, he is more of a background figure and her public image is rather of a very independent person. who seemingly relies on no person in particular. This is consistent with the independent streak of Gamma and LIE in particular, and also with R being a very weak and vulnerable function (likely R5).

Since her early business career, and up to and including her political career, she seems to have always had the longer-term perspective as higher priority than her present comfort and circumstances. In 2011 she could have, by all accounts, fled Ukraine rather than face imprisonment, but she knew that if she did so her political career would be finished. She therefore chose to face trial and imprisonment, despite the obvious discomfort and suffering. That is all consistent with T as strong function, along with her talk of her 'destiny' of a personal connection to Ukraine.

All of that fits best P1, T2, E3, R5 and F6, that is, a LIE.

To learn more about LIE, click here.

 If you are confused by our use of Socionics shorthand, click here.


  1. Replies
    1. You should back up your alternative typing with a rationale if you want it to be considered. Why EIE when there is already a good argument for LIE?

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