TOP5 of the most famous Ukrainian women
Ukrainian women are not only so beautiful and popular among western men. Some of them entered the world history as the most famous and inspiring women.
Courage and talent are two things uniting these Ukrainian ladies, regardless of what era it is. They all possess a very strong spirit and steadfastness, whether it was the 10th or the 20th century.
We from Best-Matchmaking have created the list of 5 most popular Ukrainian females ever. Everyone has been talking about them for many years. Find out more about these interesting personalities from that list. Immerse in the atmosphere of the Ukrainian history with us.
Who knows, this might help you understand Ukraine in general and Ukrainian women in particular. It will be interesting; you will be able to discover new names and events. Some of these names might be already familiar to you.
Let’s start our trip back to Ukrainian history and important events together!
1.) ROKXELANA (Hürrem Sultan) (1505-1558)
The wife of the Turkish Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent is probably well-known to each person on the globe. She is one of the most prominent figures in the history of Ukraine and the whole world.
A large number of architectural monuments are associated with that name. Ukraine knows this woman as Roksolana or Anastasiia Lisovska, the daughter of an Orthodox priest. Hürrem Sultan was her name is the Ottoman Turkey. This strong Ukrainian girl became the favorite and, later, the official wife of Ottoman Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent.
Suleyman and Roxelana had six children: one daughter and five sons. This lady became the most powerful woman in the Ottoman history. Her era was called the Sultanate of Women.
Roxelana got the power and influence over the Ottoman Empire politics and played an active role in state affairs of Turkey. Roxelana has always remembered her homeland and restrained the Ottoman army’s aggression against Ukraine and has always cared for the Cossacks’ fate.
The approximate age, under which she entered the Sultan’s harem, was 15. This lady overcame a very difficult and unreal way from the Sultan’s slave to his legal wife. She became the “queen of the Ottoman Empire”.
This raised lots of jealousy and disfavor from other women of the Sultan’s harem. She quickly became the mother of five children for her Sultan. The last, fifth son was born later and had a hunchback. He died soon.
Roxelana gained her new name Hurrem – the cheerful one thanks to her playful spirit and joyful temperament. The influence of Hurrem over her Sultan became really legendary. The fact that she had four healthy sons excluded the fights for the throne with the sons of other wives. Hafsa, the mother of Sultan, was always against Hurrem, she could not accept the former slave to become the “queen” of the Osman Empire.
However, Suleyman married Hurrem officially in 1533 or 1534. For that Ukrainian woman, the Ottoman Sultan has broken the 200-year-old Ottoman imperial house custom. She was a slave, but became the first legal spouse of the Osman Sultan! Roxelana gained the title Haseki Sultan and became the first spouse holding that title. That status was higher than that of the Ottoman princess.
Roxelana’s contribution to the Osman Empire was huge. The wife’s and mother’s role in Empire became really significant thanks to that charming and powerful Ukrainian.
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2.) MILA KUNIS (1983)
We bet you know this famous Hollywood star. Did you know she is Ukrainian? Yes, some Ukrainian ladies become even the movie stars in Hollywood. Mila Kunis was born in the Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi. Her family was Jewish, however. Her full name is Milena Kunis.
When this cure Ukrainian girl was 7, she moved from Soviet Ukraine to the USA with her parents. Her after-school activity was acting classes. An agent discovered her during that time.
Her first acting experience was some commercials and TV series. At the age of 14, she got her first significant role. Mila played Jackie Burkhart on the That ‘70s Show TV series.
Her next big work was voicing Meg Griffin on the Family Guy animated series (since 1999). However, the breakout in Mila’s career took place in 2008, when she played Rachel in the Forgetting Sarah Marshall romantic comedy.
Mila is the owner of the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actress for her role in the Black Swan thriller in 2010. She was also nominated for the SAG Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best supporting actress.
You, probably, have seen such movies, as Max Payne (2008), The Book of Eli (2010), one of the most favorite comedy Friends with Benefits (2011), Ted (2012), and Oz the Great and Powerful (2013). Her major work in 2016 was the Bad Moms comedy in 2016. Mila, as well as her parents and elder brother, speak Russian well, while it’s their mother tongue.
Mila Kunis dated Macaulay Culkin since 2002. This relationship ended up in 2011. Since 2012, she started her relationship with Ashton Kutcher. They got married and have two children.
Unlike many Hollywood stars, this Ukrainian lady has a happy family, doesn’t change her life partners, and became the mother of two. Once again, it proves that women in Ukraine are really devoted and loyal. Whether she is a star or a simple woman, her family values never change.
3.) OLGA KURYLENKO (1979)
Another famous Hollywood star with Ukrainian roots is probably well-known to you. Olga Kurylenko is a French actress and model, actually, who became really popular thanks to her role of the James Bond’s girlfriend.
This beautiful lady with a Ukrainian origin was first discovered in Moscow when she was 13. At the age of 16, she moved to Paris pursuing the career of a model. In 2005, she started her acting career.
One of her most successful roles was the role of Nika Boronina in the Hitman video game adaptation in 2007. And, of course, the role of the Bond girl Camille Montes in the 22nd movie about James Bond called Quantum of Solace (2008), was the peak of her acting career.
Tom Cruise was one of Kurylenko’s partners in the Oblivion in 2013. Other Hollywood partners of Olga were Russell Crowe and Rowan Atkinson. Olga Kurylenko was born in the Ukrainian city Berdiansk in the times of the Soviet Union. Her father is Ukrainian and her mother is Russian.
Unfortunately, Olga’s parents divorced when she was three, so her mother raised her alone. Her mother was left in Ukraine. Olga has signed a contract with the Madison modeling agency in Paris in 1996. Already when she was 18, she appeared on the Vogue and Elle magazines’ covers.
She worked as a model in Paris and supported her mom in Ukraine. Olga Kurylenko modeled for Kenzo, Roberto Cavalli, and Victoria’s Secret.
In the year 2001, Olga became a citizen of France. Her husband became a French fashion photographer Cedric van Mol in 2000. However, in four years the couple divorced. In 2006, a famous Ukrainian lady married Damian Gabrielle, an American mobile phone accessory developer. Unfortunately, this marriage wasn’t also a long one, they divorced one year later.
In 2009, Olga moved to London. She has a son together with her ex-partner Max Benitz. Currently, Olga is in relationships with a British actor Ben Cura. This beautiful lady hasn’t forgotten her homeland, and became a philanthropist, helping children in Ukraine.
4.) YULIA TYMOSHENKO (1960)
Yulia Tymoshenko is not a Hollywood star but she is still a well-known Ukrainian lady in the world. This interesting lady is a Ukrainian politician, one of the leaders of the Orange Revolution and the first woman who became the Prime Minister of Ukraine. The latter event happened twice in her career, in the years 2005 and again in the years 2007-2010.
This famous Ukrainian female is the leader of the “Batkivschchyna” (Fatherland) All-Ukrainian Union. Her party got the second most votes in 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election. They won 101 of the 450 possible parliaments’ seats.
Yulia Tymoshenko took the second place after Petro Poroshenko in the presidential election in 2014 in Ukraine. Like in 2014, the presidential election of 2010 finished with the second place for her. She lost her position to Viktor Yanukovych.
Unfortunately, after the presidential election in 2010, there were several criminal cases against her. Already in 2011, she was sentenced to seven years of prison for the abuse of power and embezzlement. She also was ordered to pay the state $188 million. However, the European Union has viewed that prosecution and conviction as politically biased and called for her release.
Finally, Yulia Tymoshenko was released in 2014 thanks to the revision of the Ukrainian criminal code, which decriminalized her actions. 322 voted supported that decision, and her official rehabilitation took place on 28th February 2014. The Supreme Court of Ukraine and the European Court of Human Rights have closed the case and found that there was no crime committed.
This Ukrainian lady is in our Top-5 list for significant reasons. In the year 2005, Yulia Tymoshenko took the third place in the Forbes list most powerful women in the world. Yulia Tymoshenko strives for the integration of Ukraine into the European Union and for the NATO membership for Ukraine. She also opposes the Ukrainian membership in the Eurasian Customs Union.
In 1999 Yulia Tymoshenko defended her PhD dissertation on the State regulation of the tax system.
This Ukrainian woman is not only just beautiful and famous to people around the globe. She is an example of a strong character and a really goal-oriented personality.
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5.) LILIA PODKOPAYEVA (1978)
When speaking of the most powerful and famous women, we couldn’t forget a well-known Ukrainian athlete Lilia Podkopayeva. She is a retired Ukrainian gymnast, the world all-around champion in 1995, and the Olympic all-around champion in 1996.
This lady is called Golden Lily in Ukraine. That beautiful and, as it seems, tender lady, got many injuries in the process of her sports career. But despite that, she managed to overcome all the obstacles and become as famous as she is now.
After her success in 1996, she intended to keep competing and even was named to the Ukrainian team for the 1997 World Championships. Unfortunately, injuries made her sit out the competition and retire a bit later.
The sportive career of Lilia Podkopayeva didn’t end up on her retirement. In 2002, she started her own Golden Lilia International Sports Festival. The rhythmic and artistic gymnasts, dancers, and acrobats regularly participate in it.
Lilia started to fight for the most gifted and talented people, her goal became showing them to the world. This lady became an example for many young people in Ukraine. In 2004, Lilia married a Ukrainian businessman and had two children. Her son was adopted in 2006 and her daughter was born in 2006 as well. Unfortunately, the couple divorced in 2009.
Lilia is a very kind person despite her strong will and character. In 2005, she became a goodwill ambassador of the United Nations on HIV/AIDS in Ukraine. Moreover, currently, she is an Ambassador of the Council of Europe for Sport, Tolerance, and Fair Play.
Lilia Podkopayeva applied her sports skills in Ukraine’s Dancing with the Stars in 2007 and became the winner of that TV show. In 2008, Lilia participated in Eurovision Dance Contest and took the third place there.
That hard-working athlete did her own gymnastic skills, which were named after her: a round-off half-on to front pike-half vault, a double front, and double front-half on floor. In 2008, Lilia was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
In the year 2003, Lilia’s jeep was stolen; a former athlete’s head and face were injured strongly. She spent much time in hospitals and went through multiple plastic surgeries. The doctors managed to bring her beauty back. After her recovery, the doctors forbade her any physical activity. However, a charity concert for disabled children was organized at that time and she was invited to participate to dance. Lilia said that she couldn’t refuse.
This Ukrainian woman is a real example of the strength and power of all the ladies in Ukraine.
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Written by Katrina El, a practicing psychologist, professional matchmaker and founder of the Slavic marriage agency Best-Matchmaking.com.
Learn more about the Ukrainian matchmaking service by Best-Matchmaking.com.