Russia's Napoleon expert confesses to chopping up lover

Cheryl Sanders
November 10, 2019

According to Russian-based media reports, investigators discovered human female arms and a gun in the backpack belonging to the man, who was later identified as a well-known professor and French history expert at a prestigious university in St. Petersburg, who dealt primarily with the Napoleonic age.

Oleg Sokolov, a prominent Russian academic specialising in Napoleonic history, confessed to murdering his young lover and former student Anastasia Yeshchenko and dismembering her body.

Sokolov's lawyer Alexander Pochuev, said that Sokolov "has admitted his guilt" and regrets what he has done.

Sokolov was brought to the hospital, where he is receiving treatment for hypothermia, the outlet reported.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said Sokolov was dedicated to his work but was also emotionally unstable and abused alcohol.

Late on Friday night, Sokolov went to the river to sink parts of the body but could not make the backpack sink, media said, citing investigators.

He had successfully thrown her hands and legs into St Petersburg's Moika river, according to the newspaper, but slipped and fell into the ice-cold waters on his third visit.

After disposing of the corpse he reportedly planned to commit suicide at the Peter and Paul Fortress, one of the former imperial capital's most famous landmarks, dressed as Napoleon.

She was reportedly a co-author with Sokolov's of joint research on the French military rule of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Sokolov has written several books on Napoleon.

According to Moscow Times, Police in St. Petersburg on Saturday detained 63-year-old Prof.

Reports say Sokolov liked dressing up as Napoleon and impersonating the former French emperor. Officials confirmed to AFP that it was Prof Sokolov.

He received France's Legion d'Honneur in 2003.

Sokolov was also a member of the Institute of Social, Economic and Political Sciences (ISSEP) in Lyons, France, which has been described as a far-right academy.

"We learn with horror.the atrocious crime of which Oleg Sokolov is guilty", the statement said, adding that they could never have imagined that Sokolov, "an academic of such standing" could commit such an "odious act".

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