Open main menu

Yuliya Volodymyrivna Mendel, or officially transliterated Yuliia Volodymyrivna Mendel according to Ukrainian National transliteration (Ukrainian: Юлія Володимирівна Мендель), who had been working as a journalist, is the press secretary (as of 2019) of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.[1][2][3]

Yuliya Mendel
Юлія Володимирівна Мендель
Yulia Mendel'.jpg
Personal details
Born (1986-09-03) 3 September 1986 (age 33)
Henichesk, Kherson Oblast, Ukrainian SSR
Alma materTaras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
Occupationjournalist, spokeswoman

Mendel had previously worked as a Communications Consultant at the World Bank, and had contributed journalistic reporting for The New York Times about ethnical minorities[4], ecological disaster in Crimea,[5] sexual harassment in the army,[6]

Mendel had worked as a journalist for several other media outlets that includes work for Politico Europe[7], the Atlantic Council[8], Vice[9], Spiegel Online[10] and Forbes[3].

Mendel won the competition (with 4,000 contestants) for press secretary that was announced by Zelensky on 30 April 2019 and was appointed on 3 June 2019.[1]

Journalists of Radio Free Europe have complained Mendel "shoved them away" when trying to approach President Zelensky.[11] Mendel denied pushing the journalist, but was trying to protect Zelensky’s "personal space."[11]

Article with allegations about BidenEdit

Mendel had worked as a journalist, and was a coauthor with Kenneth Vogel of a controversial article[12] published in The New York Times on 1 May 2019.[2] The article

detailed how in 2016, then-Vice President Biden successfully pushed Ukraine to oust Viktor Shokin, the country’s top prosecutor who’d been criticized by the U.S. as an impediment to corruption reform. The story suggested the possibility that Biden was motivated to push for Shokin’s removal because the prosecutor investigated the head of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company where the veep’s son Hunter Biden was a board member.[2]

The NYT article by Vogel and Mendel was criticized for errors by other news outlets,[2] including Bloomberg News[13] and The Washington Post.[14] The NYT article by Vogel and Mendel was also criticized by Biden allies, including Biden campaign adviser Symone Sanders, who responded

The fact that the NYTs acted as a willing agent for the Trump White House’s lies and defended the paper’s publishing of them, makes this even more eyebrow raising. Have folks learned ANYTHING from the last presidential election?[2]

Lawsuit because of the article about corruptionEdit

In 2016, Mendel published an op-ed for Politico Europe revealing rampant corruption in Ukrainian higher education. To demonstrate how corruption worked in reality she described her on case:

I hadn’t paid a bribe in my home country until it was time to defend my doctoral dissertation. I tucked $200 in page six of my manuscript before I handed it to my adviser. His department colleagues insisted on the illicit practice when I complained that my professor refused to touch my thesis for more than three weeks. The deadline was approaching.

Now I watched as my esteemed professor of modern Ukrainian literature thumbed through the pages. My face turned red with shame but I’ll never forget what he said when he found what he was looking for: “Now I see it. Your work is good.”[15]

After Mendel described how she had paid a $200 bribe to her university professor in order to get him to consider her dissertation, he accused her of libel and of making “an attack on his honor and dignity”.

The case is ongoing.[16]


  1. ^ a b "Zelensky appoints journalist Iuliia Mendel his press secretary". Ukrainian Independent Information Agency (3 June 2019). Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e Tani, Maxwell (3 June 2019). "Author of New York Times' Controversial Biden-Ukraine Story Becomes New Ukrainian President's Spokeswoman". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b Hashmi, Faizan (3 June 2019). "Zelenskyy Appoints 32-Year-Old Journalist Head Of Presidential Press Service - Statement". UrduPoint. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  4. ^ Mendel, Iuliia. "Attacks on Roma Force Ukraine to Confront an Old Ethnic Enmity". The New York Times (21 July 2018). Archived from the original on 21 February 2019. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  5. ^ Mendel, Iuliia. "4,000 Children Flee Pollution Disaster on Ukraine-Crimea Border". The New York Times (14 September 2018). Archived from the original on 23 June 2019. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  6. ^ Mendel, Iuliia. "'A Good Career, if I Satisfied Him.' Ukraine Fights Sexual Abuse, and a War". The New York Times (19 May 2019). Archived from the original on 21 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Iuliia Mendel - POLITICO". Politico. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  8. ^ "Search Results - IULIIA MENDEL". Atlantic Council. Archived from the original on 23 June 2019. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  9. ^ Shell-Shocked: Ukraine's Trauma on YouTube
  10. ^ Mendel, Iuliia; Vollmer, Jan. "Er ist unsere Luft. Uns fehlt die Luft zum Atmen". Der Spiegel (19 February 2018). Archived from the original on 23 June 2019. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  11. ^ a b Ukrainian Journalists' Union Demands Apology From Presidential Office, Radio Free Europe (September 29, 2019)|language=en}}
  12. ^ Vogel, Kenneth P.; Mendel, Iuliia (1 May 2019). "Biden Faces Conflict of Interest Questions That Are Being Promoted by Trump and Allies". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  13. ^ Baker, Stephanie; Krasnolutska, Daryna (6 May 2019). "Timeline in Ukraine Probe Casts Doubt on Giuliani's Biden Claim". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  14. ^ Wemple, Erik (9 May 2019). "New York Times, Bloomberg square off over Biden-Ukraine reporting". The Washington Post. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  15. ^ Iuliia Mendel (2016-01-30). "In Ukraine's universities, trading bribes for diplomas". Archived from the original on 8 June 2019. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  16. ^ Iuliia Mendel (2016-10-16). "Aftermath of a university bribe". Archived from the original on 23 June 2019. Retrieved 23 June 2019.