Paraska Korolyuk

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Paraska Korolyuk in 2006

Paraska Vasylivna Korolyuk (Ukrainian: Параска Василівна Королюк, commonly known as Baba Paraska (Granny Paraska; Ukrainian: баба Параска);[1] 5 May 1939 – 26 November 2010[1]) was a Ukrainian political activist and one of the iconic figures of Orange Revolution. An enthusiastic supporter of the former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko, she became known after camping in the tent sit-ins at Maidan Nezalezhnosti for the revolution's entire duration and participating in political protests.

In 2005, acknowledging her contribution, Viktor Yushchenko awarded Korolyuk the Order of Princess Olga 3rd grade during a ceremony at the Mariyinsky Palace in Kiev.[2] In March 2007 Korolyuk was accepted into Our Ukraine party.[3] Despite the split between the Orange Revolution's leaders, Korolyuk remained a staunch defender of Yushchenko and Tymoshenko.

Life[edit]

Korolyuk was an inhabitant of Dorogichivtsy village in the Ukraine's Ternopil Oblast. For about twenty years Korolyuk has been working at a collective farm as a milkmaid, then as a watchman and on a radio station.[3] During the Soviet era she was awarded the Medal "Veteran of Labour".[4] From the end of the 70s up to the 90s she was on earnings in Kazakhstan.[3] On the eve of the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election Korolyuk much went through the villages of Central and Western Ukraine to gain the votes for Viktor Yushchenko.[1] In 2005 she went to Maidan Nezalezhnosti with her three daughters. In the same year she met the former Ukrainian First Lady Kateryna Yushchenko and presented some embroidered pieces to her. Kateryna Yushchenko in turn gave presents to Korolyuk’s grandchildren.[5] Korolyuk spent several months travelling all across Ukraine to raise support for Yushchenko.[2] Yushchenko's decision to dismiss Tymoshenko as the Prime Minister of Ukraine motivated Korolyuk to travel to Kiev with the hope of reconciling the Orange Revolution's leaders.[2]

In her travels Korolyuk did not have a clear itinerary as her plans were prone to frequent changes. She, however, was always returning to Kiev to visit the president, pass along presents from herself or other people and tell him the public opinion.[2] Korolyuk once said she sometimes waited for hours near the Presidential Secretariat building for the president to appear. Korolyuk left six grandchildren.

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