Iuliia Mendel: President Zelenskyy, Ukraine's Battle for Democracy

When Iuliia Mendel got the call telling her she had been hired to work for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, she had no idea what was to come.

Mendel had a front row seat to many of the key events and meetings between President Zelenskyy, Vladimir Putin, and other European leaders preceding the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. She saw firsthand President Zelenskyy’s efforts to transform Ukraine into a vibrant and prosperous European democracy.

As the war in Ukraine continues, Mendel shares what’s at stake not only for her homeland but the rest of the world.


This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.


Bernard Osher Foundation

Photography by Kateryna Senchenko.

Image - Iuliia Mendel

Iuliia Mendel

Former Press Secretary and Spokesperson for Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (2019-2021); Author, The Fight of Our Lives: My Time with Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s Battle for Democracy, and What It Means for the World; Twitter @IuliiaMendel

Image - Steven Pifer

In Conversation with Steven Pifer

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine; Fellow, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University