Oleg Sokolov: Russian professor admits cruel murder of partner


The prominent Russian historian Oleg Sokolov confessed to having killed a former student and then dismembered it. "He has admitted his guilt," said Sokolov's lawyer Alexander Potschuew on Sunday news agency AFP.

Sokolov had been arrested on Saturday attempting to sink the body parts of the young woman, who was also his partner, in the river Moika in St. Petersburg.

Russian media reported that the university professor had fallen drunk into the Moika when he tried to sink the body parts. The police rescued the 63-year-old historian from the ice-cold river and then discovered the arms of a woman in his backpack. In the apartment of the Napoleon expert, the officials found the decapitated corpse of the 24-year-old, with whom Sokolov had written several books, and a bloodstained saw.

The Russian police at salvage operations in the course of the investigation against Sokolov

Anantoly Maltsev / EPA-EFE / REX
The Russian police at salvage operations in the course of the investigation against Sokolov

Sokolov told the investigators, according to local media, that he shot his partner in a quarrel and then sawed off her head, arms and legs. His lawyer told AFP that the historian regretted the crime and cooperated with the investigators.

Suicide attempt in the Napoleon costume?

According to media reports, the professor of the State University of St. Petersburg wanted to take his life after sinking the body parts. Accordingly, he wanted to throw himself disguised as Napoleon of the Peter and Paul fortress.

Sokolov is the author of several works on Napoleon Bonaparte and has appeared as a history expert in several documentary films. He also taught at the prestigious French Sorbonne and is a member of the French Legion of Honor.

Students described the scholar, who liked to show himself in historical costumes with his partner, as gifted lecturers, but also as a "freak" and eccentric.

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