MISSOULA – A former press secretary to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will be the featured speaker at the University of Montana’s Mansfield Dialogues on Tuesday.
Iuliia Mendel will present “Ukraine: Our Fight for Independence” at 7 p.m. via Zoom to share her first-person account from the ground in Ukraine during Russia’s invasion and describe key events preceding the Russian invasion.
Mendel attended meetings between Zelenskyy and Russian President Vladimir Putin, visited the front lines in Donbas and fielded press inquiries after infamous phone calls between former U.S. President Donald Trump and Zelenskyy.
The event is free and open to the public. However, Zoom seats are limited so advance registration is required at https://www.umt.edu/mansfield/.
“The war in Ukraine is of critical importance to Montanans given shared challenges in oil and gas, wheat, nuclear issues and democracy,” said Mansfield Center executive director Deena Mansour. “We welcome former Iuliia Mendel as part of our work to support a knowledgeable and engaged citizenry.”
Mendel – a young female Ukrainian journalist – was thrust into a high-profile job on the international stage and experienced major historical events firsthand. Organizers note in a news release that Mendel “can shed light on the massive economic problems facing Ukraine and the entrenched corrupt oligarchs in league with Russia.”
Students from high schools across Montana will watch the Mansfield Dialogue and submit questions. More than 120 copies of Mendel’s book, “The Fight of Our Lives,” will be given to Montana students by Missoula bookstore Fact and Fiction.