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
Assumed office
27 November 2014[1]
Personal details
Born (1981-06-28) June 28, 1981 (age 38)
Kabul, Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
Political partyDemocratic Alliance
Other political
Petro Poroshenko Bloc
Alma materKyiv Polytechnic Institute
Occupationpublicist; journalist of 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-born Ukrainian journalist, MP and public figure of Afghan origin. Formerly he was a reporter for the newspaper "Kommersant Ukraine", the TVi channel, and the internet newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda. He also participates in Ukrainian journalists' anti-censorship movement, "Stop the censorship!" (Ukrainian: Стоп цензурі!, Stop tsenzuri!), and Hromadske.TV. On the parliamentary elections on October 26, 2014 he was elected to the Ukrainian parliament on the list of Petro Poroshenko Bloc.[2] He is described as a reformist parliamentarian.[3]

Personal life and education[edit]

Nayyem was born in Kabul in 1981. He has stated that he is a Pashtun and "Muslim by birth", though not fully observant.[4] His former partner and son, Mark and Mikhei respectively,[5] are Jewish.[4]

Nayyem graduated from the Technical Lyceum in Kiev in 1998 and the Aerospace Systems Department of Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in 2004. He speaks fluent Ukrainian, Pashto,[6] Russian, and English.



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.[7] Their project was named Hromadske.TV.[8]


Using Facebook, Nayem was one of the first activists to urge Ukrainians to gather on Independence Square in Kiev to protest Viktor Yanukovych's decision to "pause" preparations for signing an association agreement with the European Union.[9] His summons to rally on Facebook on November 21, 2013 were the start of the Euromaidan protests which led to the overthrow of the Yanukovych government.[10]


Nayyem was included in the electoral list of Petro Poroshenko Bloc and elected to the Verkhovna Rada on the parliamentary elections of October 26, 2014. He is one of dozens of Euromaidan activists who are trying to pivot from street politics into politics, where they hope to spearhead reform and turn Ukraine into a prosperous European state.[11] Nayyem is a member of the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada on issues of European integration in the 8th convocation of parliament.[12] At the Rada session on 2 December 2014 he was the only deputy who voted against the cabinet of Arseniy Yatsenyuk.[13] Gradually he began to criticize the Petro Poroshenko Bloc (PPB) more and more and stopped voting in sync with it.[14] According to deputy head of the PPB faction Oleksiy Honcharenko by February 2019 he had not attended PPB faction meetings for several years.[14]

In August 2016 Nayyem joined the (political party) Democratic Alliance.[15] From Autumn 2015 until June 2016 he had been part of an attempt to form a political party around then Governor of Odessa 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.[16]

On 28 February 2019 Nayyem voluntarily left the BPP faction.[14]

On 21 June 2019 Nayyem announced that he would not take part in the 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election.[17]

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.[18]


  1. ^ CEC registers 357 newly elected deputies of 422 Archived 2014-12-04 at the Wayback Machine, National Radio Company of Ukraine (25 November 2014)
    Parliament to form leadership and coalition on November 27, UNIAN (26 November 2014)
  2. ^ A crazy 36 hours with the man who started Ukraine's revolution, Kyiv Post (Oct. 28, 2014)
  3. ^ "Ukraine strips one of its president's rivals of his citizenship". The Economist. 28 July 2017. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  4. ^ a b Мустафа Найем: Мой сын - еврей [Mustafa Nayyem: My son is Jewish]. (in Russian). 17 December 2009. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015.
  5. ^ Nayyem, Mustafa (2014). автобіографія [Autobiography] (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 6 December 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  6. ^ "Interview with Mustafa Nayem by Michael Schur".
  7. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Ukrainian) Найєм оголосив про старт нового проекту колишніх журналістів ТВі Nayem announced the launch of a new project of former journalists TBi, Ukrayinska Pravda (30 April 2013)
  8. ^ ‹See Tfd›(in Ukrainian) «Громадське ТБ»: «Все гірше, ніж ви думаєте, але надія є» "Public TV": "It is worse than you think, but there is hope", Телекритика (14/06/2013)
  9. ^ "Ukraine's Battle for Europe". 2013-11-29. Retrieved 2014-03-03.
  10. ^ Uprising in Ukraine: How It All Began, Open Society Foundations, voices, April 4, 2014.
  11. ^ The Streets To The Rada: Euromaidan Activists Enter Politics[permanent dead link], October 29, 2014
  12. ^ "Committee on issues of European integration". Official portal (in Ukrainian). Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  13. ^ 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"
  14. ^ a b c ‹See Tfd›(in Ukrainian) Leshchenko, Naim and Zalishchuk leave the BPP. Why now and what's next?, BBC Ukrainian (28 February 2019)
    Three MPs intend to leave BPP parliamentary faction, Ukrinform (28 February 2019)
  15. ^ A new party for Ukraine’s euro-optimists? Archived 2017-03-26 at the Wayback Machine, openDemocracy (15 August 2016)
  16. ^ "Difficulties of ambition. Why young politicians can not agree on a single party". Ukrayinska Pravda (in Ukrainian). 4 July 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  17. ^ "I have good news". Ukrayinska Pravda (in Russian). 21 June 2019. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  18. ^ 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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