UPDATE 1-Real identity uncovered of second Russian linked to Skripal poisoning — Bellingcat

Waves crash on stilt houses along the shore due to Hurricane Michael at Alligator Point in Franklin County, Florida, U.S., October 10, 2018. REUTERS/Steve Nesius
Updated 10 October 2018

UPDATE 1-Real identity uncovered of second Russian linked to Skripal poisoning — Bellingcat

LONDON: The second of two Russians who Britain says was responsible for the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter was named by investigative website Bellingcat on Monday as a military doctor for Russia’s GRU military intelligence.
Bellingcat, which covers intelligence matters, named him as Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin, aged 39, who was charged by Britain last month under the name of Alexander Petrov.
British prosecutors charged Petrov and and another man they named as Ruslan Boshirov with attempted murder for the Novichok nerve agent attack on the Skripals in the English city of Salisbury in March, but said they believed the suspects had used aliases to enter Britain.
Bellingcat last month identified Boshirov as a colonel in the GRU whose real name was Anatoliy Chepiga.
London police said they would not comment on speculation about the real identities of the two men facing charges, in response to a query about the latest Bellingcat report, and repeated they believed the men had used aliases.
Mishkin was born in July 1979 in the village of Loyga in the Archangelsk district of northern Russia, and until September 2014 his registered home address in Moscow was the same as the headquarters of the GRU, Bellingcat said.
“Bellingcat’s identification process included multiple open sources, testimony from people familiar with the person, as well as copies of personally identifying documents, including a scanned copy of his passport,” the website said.
His GRU rank was unknown, it added.
Russia denies any involvement in the poisoning, and the two men have said publicly they were tourists who had flown to London for fun and visited Salisbury to see its cathedral.


Atalanta coach feared for his life as he fought virus

Updated 1 min 37 sec ago

Atalanta coach feared for his life as he fought virus

ROME: When Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini was struggling with the coronavirus in mid-March, the prospect of entering Bergamo’s hospital — which was overflowing with COVID-19 patients at the time —  made him fear for his life.

“Every two minutes an ambulance passed by … It seemed like a war,” Gasperini said. “At night, I would think, ‘If go in there (the hospital), what will happen to me?’”

Fortunately for Gasperini, he quickly recovered and did not have to check into the Pope John XXIII hospital. The coach only recently confirmed that he had the virus when the entire team was tested 10 days ago, he said in an interview with the Gazzetta dello Sport published on Sunday.

The 62-year-old Gasperini started feeling sick on March 9, a day before Atalanta played at Valencia in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16.

He said that when he returned to Bergamo, which was quickly becoming the epicenter of the pandemic, “I didn’t have a fever but I felt destroyed and as if I had a 40-degree (Celsius, or 104 Fahrenheit) fever.”

Many experts have pointed to the first leg game between Atalanta and Valencia on Feb. 19 in Milan as one of the biggest reasons why the virus was so deadly in Bergamo. The match has been dubbed “Game Zero” by the local media.

With the virus advancing rapidly across Europe, the second leg in Valencia was played without fans. Still, more than 35% of Valencia’s team became infected.

More than 16,000 people have died from the virus in the Lombardy region containing Bergamo, which has been one of the hardest-hit cities.

“It will take years to really understand what happened,” Gasperini said. “Every time I think about it, it seems absurd: The high point of our sporting (achievement) coincided with the city’s deepest pain.

“I feel more Bergamasco now,” added Gasperini, who is from the Turin area.

Previously the only member of Atalanta who was confirmed as testing positive for the virus was reserve goalkeeper Marco Sportiello.

Atalanta advanced to the quarterfinals on 8-4 aggregate but has not played since then with soccer not due to restart in Italy until mid-June.

“Atalanta can help Bergamo recover, while respecting the pain and those in mourning,” Gasperini said. “It will take time to see people celebrating again in the piazzas or at the airport, but the Bergamaschi keep their fires burning under the ashes.

“There isn’t one player who left the city. More than one of them lost weight, which could also be the sign of psychological issues,” the coach added. “It’s difficult to read everyone’s repressed emotional state. Some of them had their families far away.

“One thing for sure, though, is that the squad remained connected with Bergamo’s suffering and it will bring that out onto the field.”