In this feature length edition of Wilson Center NOW, newly elected Member of Parliament, Mustafa Nayyem, shares his thoughts on the state of democracy in Ukraine, the ongoing conflict with Russia, and his transition from journalism to politics.  Nayyem is the 2014 recipient of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award.

About Mustafa Nayyem
Mustafa Nayyem was elected to the Ukrainian Parliament in the Petro Poroshenko Bloc  in October 2014. In April 2013, he co-founded the first independent internet television platform in Ukraine, “”  Today it serves as a multimedia platform response to censorship in government and private media in Ukraine. In late 2013, on the day the Ukrainian government refused to sign the Association Agreement, Nayyem used Facebook to encourage friends and supporters to initiate a peaceful protest rally against the actions of the government. As a result, the first Euromaidan emerged and it grew into one of the major events in Europe in 2013. During these events “” was the only media outlet that covered all of the mass protest actions promptly and without censorship. In less than two months “” gained the trust of more than a million citizens.

About the Award
The Ion Ratiu Democracy Award aims to bring international recognition to the ideas and accomplishments of individuals around the world who are working on behalf of democracy. Whether they are in exile from repressive regimes or operating within emerging democracies, recipients of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award are democracy advocates with the type of life-changing experience in Washington that Ion Ratiu encountered as a young Romanian democracy activist in the 1970s and 1980s. The Award provides a month-long scholarship at the Wilson Center during which awardees have an opportunity to immerse themselves in the scholarly, policymaking, and NGO communities in Washington, D.C. The award workshop is supported by the Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation, established in 1979. The Foundation aims to further education and research in Romanian culture and history, and to stimulate and support civil society in its understanding and application of democracy and democratic principles worldwide.

Previous awardees include Angela Kocze (Hungary,2013), Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar, 2012), Nabeel Rajab (Bahrain, 2011), Oleg Kozlovsky (Russia, 2010), Adam Michnik (Poland, 2009), Eleonora Cercavschi (Moldova, 2008), Anatoli Mikhailov (Belarus, 2007), Saad Ibrahim (Egypt, 2006), and Sergio Aguayo (Mexico, 2005).