Mustafa Nayyem

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Mustafa Nayyem
Мустафа Найєм
مصطفى نعیم
Mustafa Nayyem, Ambassador's residence.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Petro Poroshenko Bloc
In office
27 November 2014[1] – 24 July 2019
Personal details
Born (1981-06-28) June 28, 1981 (age 41)
Kabul, Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
Political partyDemocratic Alliance
Other political
Petro Poroshenko Bloc (until August 2016)
Alma materKyiv Polytechnic Institute
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv[2]
OccupationPublicist, journalist for Kommersant, Ukrayinska Pravda, and Hromadske.TV
Mustafa Nayyem at Euromaidan on 23 November 2013

Mustafa Masi Nayyem (Ukrainian: Мустафа Найєм, Pashto: مصطفی نعیم) is an Afghan-Ukrainian journalist, MP, lecturer at the Kyiv School of Economics,[2] and public figure who was influential in sparking the Euromaidan in Ukraine.[3] Since January 2023 Nayyem is the head of the State Agency for Restoration and Infrastructure Development.[4] Prior to this he was Deputy Minister of Infrastructure appointed in August 2021.[2]

Formerly, before his bureaucratic career Nayyem was a reporter for the newspaper Kommersant Ukraine, the TVi channel, and the online newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda. He also participates in Ukrainian journalists' anti-censorship movement, "Stop the censorship!" (Ukrainian: Стоп цензурі!, Stop tsenzuri!), and Hromadske.TV. In the parliamentary elections he was elected to the Ukrainian parliament on the list of Petro Poroshenko Bloc.[5][6] Nayyem did not take part in the 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[7]

Personal life and education[edit]

Nayyem was born in Kabul in 1981 and lived in an elite district near the Taj Beg palace.[8] In 1984, ten days after his younger brother Masi Nayyem was born, their mother died.[9] He has stated that he is a Pashtun, a "Muslim by birth",[10] and his native tongue is Dari.[8] In Afghanistan, his father, Muhammad Naim (Ukrainian: Мухаммад Наїм), had been Minister of Education and was responsible for the construction of educational facilities before the USSR invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979.[8][9] After the Soviet invasion, his father did not want to work for the Soviets and quit his post.[9] In 1987 and because of the destruction of the ongoing Soviet Union's War in Afghanistan, his father went to Moscow to study and met Ukrainian Valentina Kolechko whom he later married in early 1989.[9] Mustafa Nayyem became fluent in Russian and Ukrainian after he moved with his father to Moscow in August 1989[a] living near the Nakhimovsky Prospekt metro station and later to Kyiv in 1990 attending 61st school near the Lukyanivsky market.[8]

Nayyem graduated from the Technical Lyceum in Kyiv in 1998, and the Aerospace Systems Department of Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in 2004. He speaks fluent Ukrainian, Pashto,[11] Russian, and English.

He and Anastasia Ivanova who is from Lviv and was a photographer for Kommersant-Ukraine (Ukrainian: Коммерсантъ Украина),[12] have a son, Mark-Mikhei (born 13 January 2008),[13][14] and both mother and son are Jewish.[10]

His brother Masi Nayem is a lawyer and, in April 2016, deployed as a Ukrainian paratrooper to the Donbas - Avdiivka industrial zone which was the hottest point of the Russo-Ukrainian War.[9][15] During the 2022 full scale Russian invasion of Ukraine Masi Nayem returned to the front.[15] On 5 June 2022 his brother Mustafa Nayyem reported that he had been seriously injured.[15] Masi Nayem survived his injuries, both lost one eye.[16]



Nayyem worked as a reporter for the Kommersant-Ukrainy newspaper from 2005 to 2007, and then for Shuster LIVE, a political talk show on Ukrainian television, from 2007 to 2011.

In 2009, Nayyem received national attention following Ukrayina TV channel's live discussion with then-presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych. During the discussion, he questioned Yanukovych about the latter's acquisition of the Mezhyhirya Residence. In 2010, Nayem was briefly detained by police officers, reportedly as a result of racial profiling for "persons of Caucasian appearance" (a common local term for people from the Caucasus). The following day, Nayem wrote an article in which described the events that led to his detention. He stated, "Xenophobia should not become the face of Ukrainian nationality" and requested the firing of one of the officers responsible.

Nayyem frequently contributes news and articles to Ukrayinska Pravda. From September 2011 to late April 2013, he worked for the Ukrainian television channel TVi. After resigning due to a conflict with the channel's new management, he started a web project together with colleagues who also left the channel.[17] Their project was named Hromadske.TV.[18]


Using Facebook, Nayem was one of the first activists to urge Ukrainians to gather on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in Kyiv to protest Viktor Yanukovych's decision to "pause" preparations for signing the European Union–Ukraine Association Agreement (with the European Union).[3] His post[b] on Facebook on November 21, 2013, was a summons to rally for the Euromaidan protests which led to the overthrow of the Yanukovych government, in the so-called Revolution of Dignity.[20]


Nayyem was included in the electoral list of Petro Poroshenko Bloc (PPB) and elected to the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's national parliament) on the parliamentary elections of October 26, 2014. He was one of dozens of Euromaidan activists who pivoted from street politics into politics, where they sought to spearhead reform and turn Ukraine into a prosperous European state.[21] Nayyem was a member of the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada on issues of European integration.[22] At the Rada session of 2 December 2014 he was the only deputy who voted against the cabinet of Arseniy Yatsenyuk.[23] Gradually he began to criticize the Petro Poroshenko Bloc (PPB) more and more and stopped voting in sync with it.[24] According to deputy head of the PPB faction Oleksiy Honcharenko by February 2019 he had not attended PPB faction meetings for several years.[24]

In August 2016 Nayyem joined the (political party) Democratic Alliance.[25] From Autumn 2015 until June 2016, he had been part of an attempt to form a political party around then Governor of Odesa Oblast Mikheil Saakashvili with members of the parliamentary group Interfactional Union "Eurooptimists", Democratic Alliance and possibly Self Reliance until this projection collapsed in June 2016.[26]

On 28 February 2019 Nayyem voluntarily left the BPP faction.[24]

On 21 June 2019 Nayyem announced that he would not take part in the 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[7] Newspaper The Economist described him in 2017 as a reformist parliamentarian.[27]

In November 2019 Nayyem was appointed Deputy Director General of Ukroboronprom.[28] He was dismissed from this position on 29 April 2021 due to the position being abolished (which had not been communicated to him).[29]

From 4 August 2021 to 28 January 2023 Nayyem was Deputy Minister of Infrastructure.[30][4]

On 28 January 2023 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine appointed Nayyem as head of the State Agency for Restoration and Infrastructure Development.[4]

Cultural print in Ukrainian politics[edit]

Ukrainian entertaining group "Kvartal 95" mentioned Nayyem in their song about Ihor Kolomoyskyi (the name of latter omitted in the song) and their meeting in relation to the "Ukrnafta issue" that surfaced in the Ukrainian media soon after Euromaidan events.[31]

Awards and honors[edit]

Nayyem receiving the Oleksandr Kryvenko award

In 2010, Nayyem was awarded the Oleksandr Kryvenko prize "For Progress In Journalism" and in 2014 the prize of Gerd Bucerius Prize for Free Press in Eastern Europe.[2]


  1. ^ Later, his father brought his brother Masi to Moscow in 1990.[9]
  2. ^ He posted, "Зустрічаємося о 22:30 під монументом Незалежності. Одягайтеся тепло, беріть парасольки, чай, каву, гарний настрій і друзів. Перепост всіляко вітається!" ("Meet you at 10:30 pm under the Monument of Independence. Wear warmth, take umbrellas, tea, coffee, good mood and friends. Repost in every possible way Welcome!")[19]


  1. ^ "CEC registers 357 newly elected deputies of 422". National Radio Company of Ukraine. 25 November 2014. Archived from the original on 4 December 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
    "Parliament to form leadership and coalition on November 27". UNIAN. 26 November 2014. Archived from the original on 1 December 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "Mustafa-Masi Nayyem - Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine".
  3. ^ a b Kotsyuba, Oleh (29 November 2013). "Ukraine's Battle for Europe". New York Times. Archived from the original on 30 November 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Nayyem to Head State Agency for Restoration and Infrastructure Development, Kyiv Post (28 January 2023)
  5. ^ Quartz (28 October 2014). "A crazy 36 hours with the man who started Ukraine's revolution". Kyiv Post. Archived from the original on 28 October 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Найєм Мустафа-Масі" [Nayyem Mustafa-Masi]. Народний депутат України VIII скликання (People's Deputy of Ukraine of the 8th convocation) (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 15 February 2015.
  7. ^ a b Найем, Мустафа (Mustafa, Nayyem) (21 June 2019). "У МЕНЯ ХОРОШИЕ НОВОСТИ" [I have good news]. Ukrayinska Pravda (in Russian). Archived from the original on 21 June 2019. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d Григораш, Анна (Grigorash, Anna) (6 July 2015). "I/am/from: Мустафа Найем рассказывает о Кабуле" [I / am / from: Mustafa Nayyem talks about Kabul]. БЖ (BZH) (in Russian). Archived from the original on 4 September 2019. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Рунец, Владимир (Runets, Vladimir); Любыш-Кирдей, Иван (Lyubysh-Kirdey, Ivan) (12 February 2019). ""Где война, там родина". История братьев Найем, которых увезли в СССР от войны в Афганистане" ["Where there is war, there is homeland." The story of the Nayyem brothers who were taken to the USSR from the war in Afghanistan]. (in Russian). Archived from the original on 13 February 2019. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  10. ^ a b Найем, Мустафа (Mustafa, Nayyem) (17 December 2009). "Мустафа Найем: Мой сын - еврей" [Mustafa Nayyem: My son is Jewish]. (in Russian). Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2009.
  11. ^ Щур, Майкл (Shchur, Michael) [in Russian] (16 November 2014). "Мустафа Найем в гостях" [Interview with Mustafa Nayem]. Телебачення Торонто «УТ-Торонто» «Українське телебачення Торонто» (ГО «УТ-Торонто») (in Russian).
  12. ^ "Мустафа Найєм: де його дружина, вражаючі фото" [Mustafa Nayem: where is his wife, amazing photos]. UAportal (in Ukrainian). 28 February 2019. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  13. ^ Leschchenko, Serhiy (13 January 2008). "Мустафа Найєм. Перезавантаження-1" [Mustafa Nayem. Restart-1]. Leshchenko Blog. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  14. ^ Nayyem, Mustafa (2014). "автобіографія" [Autobiography] (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 6 December 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  15. ^ a b c Tyshchenko, Katerina (2022-06-05). "Адвоката Масі Найєма важко поранено, готують до операції" [Lawyer Massi Nayem is seriously injured and is being prepared for surgery]. Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2022-06-05.
  16. ^ Gayuk, Yulia (2023-04-13). "Масі Найєм: Якщо українці зараз щасливі - це найкращий показник ефективності ЗСУ" [Masi Nayem: If Ukrainians are happy now, this is the best indicator of the effectiveness of the Armed Forces]. RBC Ukraine (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2023-04-13.
  17. ^ "Найєм оголосив про старт нового проекту колишніх журналістів ТВі" [Nayem announced the launch of a new project of former journalists TBi]. Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). 30 April 2013. Archived from the original on 30 April 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
  18. ^ ""Громадське ТБ": "Все гірше, ніж ви думаєте, але надія є"" [Public TV: It is worse than you think, but there is hope]. Телекритика (in Ukrainian). 14 June 2013. Archived from the original on 18 June 2013. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  19. ^ "Мустафа Найєм" [Mustafa Nayem]. Obozrevatel (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  20. ^ "Uprising in Ukraine: How It All Began". Open Society Foundations: voices. 4 April 2014. Archived from the original on 18 April 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  21. ^ The Streets To The Rada: Euromaidan Activists Enter Politics[permanent dead link], October 29, 2014
  22. ^ "Committee on issues of European integration". Official portal (in Ukrainian). Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  23. ^ Поіменне голосування про проект Постанови про формування складу Кабінету Міністрів України (№1008) "Roll-call vote on the draft Resolution on the formation of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine"
  24. ^ a b c "Лещенко, Найєм і Заліщук покидають БПП. Чому зараз і що далі?" [Leshchenko, Naim and Zalishchuk leave the BPP. Why now and what's next?]. BBC Ukrainian (in Ukrainian). 28 February 2019. Archived from the original on 1 March 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
    "Three MPs intend to leave BPP parliamentary faction". Ukrinform. 28 February 2019. Archived from the original on 1 March 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  25. ^ "A new party for Ukraine's euro-optimists?". openDemocracy. 15 August 2016. Archived from the original on 26 March 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  26. ^ Романюк, Роман (Romaniuk, Roman); Кравець, Роман (Kravets, Roman) (4 July 2016). "Труднощі амбіцій. Чому молоді політики не можуть домовитися про єдину партію" [Difficulties of ambition. Why young politicians can not agree on a single party]. Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 4 July 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  27. ^ "Ukraine strips one of its president's rivals of his citizenship". The Economist. 28 July 2017. Archived from the original on 29 July 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  28. ^ (in Ukrainian) Nayem got a position in "Ukroboronprom", Ukrayinska Pravda (21 November 2019)
  29. ^ (in Ukrainian) Nayem is leaving Ukroboronprom: his position has been reduced, Ukrayinska Pravda (29 April 2021)
  30. ^ (in Ukrainian) About the appointment of Nayem Mustafa-Masi as Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine, Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (4 August 2021)
  31. ^ Live sharply and do not let anything drive you down! Glory to Ukraine! Song of Kolomoyskiy (Живите четко и не косячьте! Слава Украине! | Песня Коломойского). Vecherniy Kvartal at YouTube. 23.05.2015

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