Vitaly Portnikov was born in 1967 in Kyiv. He graduated from the MSU Faculty of Journalism in 1990. During his studies, he cooperated with the Kyiv newspaper Molod Ukrainy.
Since 1989, he works as the analyst of the Nezavisimaya Gazeta, specializing in post-Soviet countries, and cooperates with the Russian and Ukrainian services of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
As a free-lance journalist he has been publishing articles in Russian Russkij Telegraf, Kommersant, Vedomosti, Vremya MN, Vremya novostej, Moskovskiye Novosti, Obshaja gazeta, Ukrainian Den’, Korrespondent, Profil, Delovaja Nedelja, Zerkalo Nedeli, Kontrakty, Novynar, Glavred, Latvian Biznes & Baltia, Telegraf, Estonian Estonia, Postimees, Polish Polityka, Gazeta Wyborcza, Polska, Byelorussian Belgazeta. In 2007, he was the editor-in-chief of the Media-Dom holding & the Ukrainian newspaper Gazeta24. Sinse 2008, he is the author of the weekly TV-show “Kyivski pohliad”. His areas of interest are also Jews and the Middle East. He is the columnist of the Israel’s most-popular Russian-language newspaper Vesti and Moscow-based Evreiskie novosti.
Vitaly Portnikov is the winner of the “Zolotoe Pero 1989”, the award of the Ukrainian Association of Journalists. He has also been nominated for the title of the Journalist jf the Year in Ukraine.