NewsJournalists face threats as military scandals rock Ukraine

Journalists face threats as military scandals rock Ukraine

War in Ukraine. Politico: Ukrainian authorities are trying to silence journalists. In the photo is Volodymyr Zelensky.
War in Ukraine. Politico: Ukrainian authorities are trying to silence journalists. In the photo is Volodymyr Zelensky.
Images source: © Getty Images | Anadolu

6:26 AM EDT, May 9, 2024

Authorities utilize intimidation techniques to silence journalists, such as threatening to send them to the frontlines, states Yuriy Nikolov, co-founder of the Ukrainian journalistic project Naszi Hroszi, in a conversation published Tuesday with

Naszi Hroszi is an investigative initiative focused on uncovering corruption. notes that the issue remains critical despite the decrease in corruption in Ukraine in recent years.

"I conducted investigations for 15 years before the war, and they have always been hard and risky. But I think now it's worse for journalists," stated Yuriy Nikolov.

The war in Ukraine reveals the scale of military corruption

Nikolov's team uncovered a corruption scandal involving the Ukrainian military's procurement of overpriced food. The Naszi Hroszi project found that food prices were inflated by more than threefold. Later, independent Ukrainian journalists further exposed issues, such as bribes within medical commissions.

Following the exposure of the food pricing scandal, among other revelations, Ukraine's Minister of Defense, Oleksiy Reznikov, resigned in September 2023. However, after these malpractices were made public, Yuriy Nikolov received repeated threats on social media, which escalated in January 2024 when two masked men attempted to break into his apartment, accusing him of being hostile towards Ukraine.

Naszi Hroszi is not the only project tackling corruption in Ukraine or facing attempts to intimidate its journalists. In October 2023, Yulia Mostova, editor-in-chief of, disclosed that President Volodymyr Zelensky had urged journalists to "keep silent until victory" and not to expose further discrepancies until the Russians were defeated.

In January 2023, a video was published on YouTube showing journalists from bihus.Info, another outlet focusing on corruption and consuming alcohol and drugs, as noted by

Following the scandal, Denys Bihus, editor-in-chief, dismissed the implicated journalists. However, he was particularly concerned about how the compromising footage was obtained, accusing the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) of surveillance. Vasyl Maluk, head of the SBU, confirmed the agency's involvement in monitoring media figures.

The authorities of Ukraine have made apologies. Journalists remain sceptical

In response, the SBU chief apologized, and the President of Ukraine asserted that any form of pressure on journalists is unacceptable. Nonetheless, Yuriy Nikolov remains sceptical that the situation has improved.
"You can be a patriot and want Ukraine to win this war while still being a journalist," explained Naszi Hroszi's editor-in-chief in the conversation with
He emphasized that the media's goal should be to uncover the truth under any circumstances. "Journalists should understand that they have a job to do. A transparent approach and ethical journalism do not harm Ukraine," the journalist stated.
"I want us to have more air defense systems and more weapons for our soldiers. That’s where the money should go, not into padding other people’s pockets," he concluded.
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