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Leonid Bershidsky

Ukraine's Revolutionary No. 1 Goes to Parliament

The journalist who started the Maidan protests in Kiev last year is now a legislator struggling to find a way to do politics honestly.
Talkin' 'bout a second revolution.
Talkin' 'bout a second revolution.

In the history of Ukraine's Maidan revolution, which ousted President Viktor Yanukovich in February, Mustafa Nayyem deserves prominent mention. A year after the journalist's Facebook post drew the first protesters to Kiev's main square, he's now a freshly elected member of parliament, conflicted about his role and struggling to find a voice for his generation.

Nayyem, whose Afghan family came to Kiev via Moscow, is an unlikely Ukrainian celebrity. He gets recognized on the street because of his television appearances and has a following on social networks as the former star writer of, the country's biggest news site. His brand of hard-hitting political journalism was often partisan but based on inside information. Nayyem had no problem getting people to talk to him.