Prominent Ukrainian journalist Yurii Nikolov, who received a threatening home visit earlier this month, said on Jan. 26 that police haven't yet detained the suspects.
Nikolov, who revealed procurement wrongdoing in the Defense Ministry under its previous leadership, said that at least two men approached his apartment on Jan. 14, aggressively banging on his door and verbally attacking him. Footage from the scene later appeared on an anonymous Telegram channel, allegedly linked to the Presidential Office.
Authorities opened criminal proceedings on Jan. 19. The penalty for obstructing journalists' work ranges from a fine to four years in prison.
Last week, law enforcement in Kyiv identified the individuals who allegedly intimidated Nikolov.
After searching their homes, the police "immediately released" the suspects, Nikolov said on Facebook, adding that the Kyiv Police explained it by the fact that nobody has been charged yet.
"They (the suspects) are free. I was not informed of any details regarding their correspondence (found during the searches) and testimony," according to Nikolov.
"They (the police) promised to tell me all that when the pre-trial investigation is over but did not say when it will end."
Nikolov is a co-founder and an editor of the Nashi Hroshi investigative media project. His investigations into inflated prices for food supplies and low-quality winter jackets for the military prompted the ousting of previous Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.
Soon after Nikolov made his case public, another scandal arose around the investigative outlet Bihus.Info. An obscure website posing as a news organization, Narodna Pravda, published camera recordings and private calls of Bihus.Info staff members, capturing them purchasing and using drugs during a private New Year's party.
The investigative outlet subsequently said that unknown men installed hidden cameras in the complex where the party took place and that Bihus.Info's editorial office had been wiretapped for about a year.
These cases sparked outrage among Ukraine's journalistic community, which condemned it as pressure against free media and called on Ukrainian authorities to bring the responsible to justice.