Oleg Sokolov giving orders to his troops throughout a reenactment of the 1812 warfare in Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg: 

A distinguished Saint Petersburg-based Napoleon skilled has confessed to murdering his younger lover and former pupil and dismembering her physique in a grisly crime that despatched shock waves throughout Russia.

Oleg Sokolov, a 63-year-old historical past lecturer who acquired France’s Legion d’Honneur in 2003, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of homicide after he was hauled out of the icy Moika River with a backpack containing a girl’s arms.

“He has admitted his guilt,” Sokolov’s lawyer Alexander Pochuev advised AFP, including he regretted what he had completed and was now cooperating.

Sokolov was reportedly drunk and fell in as he tried to eliminate physique components.

After disposing of the corpse he reportedly deliberate to commit suicide on the Peter and Paul Fortress, one of many former imperial capital’s most well-known landmarks, dressed as Napoleon.

Sokolov teaches historical past at Saint Petersburg State College, President Vladimir Putin’s alma mater, and was near the Russian authorities.

He advised investigators that he shot and killed his lover throughout an argument after which sawed off her head, legs and arms, native media reported.

Pochuev urged Sokolov might have been beneath stress or emotionally disturbed. 

“He’s an aged particular person,” he stated, including he was being handled for hypothermia in a hospital.

Police found the decapitated physique of Anastasia Yeshchenko, 24, with whom Sokolov had co-authored various works, and a blood-stained noticed at his house.

“Merely monstrous”

The historian, who additionally taught at Sorbonne College, is the writer of books on French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

He acted as a historic marketing consultant on a number of movies and took half in historic re-enactments of Napoleonic wars.

Each he and his lover studied French historical past and preferred to put on interval costumes, with Sokolov dressing up as Napoleon.

College students described Sokolov as each a proficient lecturer who might impersonate the French emperor and his generals and a “freak” who referred to as his lover “Josephine” and preferred to be addressed as “Sire”.

“What occurred is just monstrous,” a Saint Petersburg State College lecturer advised AFP.

Talking on situation of anonymity, he stated Sokolov was devoted to his work however was additionally emotionally unstable and abused alcohol.

His former pupil, Fyodor Danilov, stated Sokolov was thought to be one of many college’s greatest lecturers however an eccentric man who at occasions yelled in French.

His relationship with Yeshchenko was an open secret, he stated. “However everybody was advantageous with that, it was her personal enterprise,” he advised AFP.

“Hushing issues up”

Many expressed dismay, saying Sokolov had lengthy been identified for his hostile behaviour however officers had ignored complaints.

Vasily Kunin, who studied with the sufferer, blamed the college administration.

“They didn’t take note of sure issues,” he advised AFP.

“There was a sure coverage of hushing issues up.”

Media studies stated that Sokolov additionally beat up and threatened to kill one other lady in 2008 however was by no means charged.

On Twitter, screenwriter Andrew Ryvkin stated Sokolov was one among his lecturers, describing the Saint Petersburg-based college as a spot the place “alcoholics” and “anti-Semites” felt relaxed.

Sokolov was a senior member of the Russian Army-Historic Society headed by Tradition Minister Vladimir Medinsky. 

The organisation instantly sought to distance itself from the controversy.

In 2003, Crimson Star, the official newspaper of the defence ministry, gushingly described Sokolov as a “critical historian” whose works had been printed in France.

Sokolov was additionally a member of Lyon-based Institute of Social Science, Economics and Politics (ISSEP).

On Saturday the society introduced that he had been stripped of his place on its scientific committee.

“We study with horror in regards to the atrocious crime of which Oleg Sokolov is allegedly responsible,” it stated in an announcement.

ISSEP was based by Marion Marechal, the niece of Marine Le Pen, chief of the far-right Nationwide Rally occasion.

(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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