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Ukraine. Politico: The authorities are trying to silence journalists

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– I conducted investigations for 15 years before the war and it was always difficult and risky. But I think that now journalists have it worse – says Yuri Nikolov, co-founder of the Ukrainian journalistic project Nashi Hroshi, in an interview with “Politico”.

– They use various tactics to scare away reporters, and then they can always say that they will send you to the front line – added.

Ukraine. Journalists under “pressure” from Kiev?

Yuri Nikolov revealed, among others: corruption scandal in the Ukrainian army, regarding incorrect prices of food purchased by the army. There were costs overestimated by more than three times. As a result of making public, among others, this scandal Minister of Defense Ukraine Ołeksij Reznikow he resigned in September 2023.

However, after publishing an article on corruption, Nikolovov faced repression from the authorities. Later, words turned into deeds and in January 2024, two masked men tried to break into his apartment.

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Moreover, journalists not only receive threats, but are also accused of taking action against the homeland. Additionally, online accounts supporting Zelensky and the government often criticize the media that deal with scandals at the government level.

At the beginning of this year, a video was published on YouTube showing journalists from Bihus.info – a medium exposing corruption cases – taking banned substances. Denys Bihus, the website's editor-in-chief, fired the people seen in the video, but his greatest concern was how these compromising recordings were obtained.

Bihus accused Father recording and eavesdropping on its journalists, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). Later the head of the organization, General Wasyl Maluk, confirmedthat the SBU was surveilling media representatives. Despite the apologies and assurances of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskywho said, among other things, that “any pressure on reporters is unacceptable”, Nikolov believes that the situation in this respect has not changed.

The journalist believes that the media are still blocked, and some reporters and media confuse patriotism with journalism. – You can want Ukraine to win this war and still be a journalist – he said. – Journalists should understand that they have a job to do. A transparent attitude and decent journalism do not harm Ukraine – he emphasized.

Although, the level of corruption, which was the highest during the presidency Viktor Yanukovych,has fallen so far, however, according to Nikolov, the pressure tactics used against journalists are reminiscent of that period.

– There are still problems with public procurement contracts, and we we have a problem with bribes e.g. with the police, the State Security Service or customs officers, he said.

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