WASHINGTON--The Wilson Center is pleased to announce that Mustafa Nayyem, one of the most respected and popular Ukrainian journalists and bloggers, will receive the 2014 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award.

Mustafa Nayyem has been working at “Ukrainska Pravda” (“Ukrainian Truth”) since 2006, directing online media. In April 2013, along with several colleagues, he founded Ukraine’s first independent Internet TV Channel: Hromadske.tv. This unique platform is funded by independent donations, and was created in response to censorship and media monopolization. Mr. Nayyem and Hromadske.tv played a crucial role in the “Euromaidan” protests. His Facebook post in which he issued a call to go to Independence Square (Maidan) in Kyiv, to protest the Ukrainian government’s decision to stop Ukraine’s process of integration into the European Union, was shared over one thousand times in a matter of hours. These protests precipitated the fall of President Yanukovych’s government and are evidence of the Ukrainian people’s struggle for freedom and democratic values, and Mustafa Nayyem’s actions around that time have placed him as an important leader of the protests.

“I was extremely moved by the memorials in the Maidan when I visited Kiev as an election observer in May,” said Jane Harman, Director, President, and CEO of the Wilson Center. “Ukraine has a tough road ahead, and journalists like Mustafa Nayyem play a vital role in building a competent, transparent, and pluralist government.  Mustafa Nayyem’s dedication to these values makes him a worthy recipient of this year’s Ion Ratiu Democracy Award.” 

“As the tenth recipient of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award, Mustafa Nayyem embodies Ion Ratiu’s aspirations for democratic change in Europe and beyond,” said Dr. Christian F. Ostermann, Director of the Global Europe Program and Chair of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award at the Wilson Center. “We look forward to having Mustafa join us at the Center later this year.”

The purpose of the Ion Ratiu Democracy Award is to bring visibility and international recognition to the ideas and accomplishments of individuals around the world who are working on behalf of democracy. The award expresses the deep commitment to democracy of the late Ion Ratiu through his contributions as a Romanian politician as well as his interest in democratic change worldwide.