The famous Russian historian Oleg Sokolov confessed to killing and dismembering his young companion. "He has admitted his guilt," his lawyer, Alexander Potchouev, told AFP, adding that the 63-year-old historian had said that he regretted his act and was ready to cooperate with the police.
According to Russian media reports, he reportedly killed his 24-year-old partner, Anastassia Echchenko, in an argument, and then cut off her head, arms and legs to try to get rid of her. The victim was one of his former students with whom he had co-authored several books.
This great Napoleon specialist was apparently drunk when the police took him out Saturday morning of the Moika River in St. Petersburg. He was carrying a backpack in which were two arms of a woman and an alarm gun.
He liked to be called "Sire"
The 60-year-old would have fallen into this river of the former Russian imperial capital, where he planned to throw body parts, according to local media reports. He admitted to having intended to get rid of the body and commit suicide publicly, dressed as Napoleon.
He is currently hospitalized and treated for hypothermia, according to his lawyer. He must be brought before a court on Monday to decide on his incarceration. According to Russian media, Oleg Sokolov had already beaten and threatened a woman in 2008, but had never been prosecuted for these acts.
This admirer of Napoleon was considered a talented teacher by his students, able to interpret the roles of both Napoleon and his generals. But he also seemed "eccentric" or "weird" to his students. He liked to dress in Bonaparte, call himself "Sire" and call his companion "Josephine", and sometimes began to shout in French during his classes.
His young partner shared his passion for the Napoleonic era and also liked to wear period costumes. Their relationship was known within the university.
Decorated with the Legion of Honor
Some students of the prestigious St. Petersburg State University, where Vladimir Putin studied, denounce the immobility of the administration while the abusive behavior of Oleg Sokolov was known. "They did not pay attention to certain things, the fact that he could be aggressive. There was a policy of silence, "says a former student, Vasily Kounin.
Holder of a chair of history at this university, author of several books, Oleg Sokolov was also employed in France as advisor by the school founded by the far-right MP Marion Marechal, the Institute of social, economic and political sciences. The establishment fired him as soon as his arrest was announced.
The Issep was moved Saturday in a statement, the "atrocious crime that would be guilty of Oleg Sokolov". "Being professor of the chair of modern history at the University of St. Petersburg, intervened as director of studies invited to the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes at the Sorbonne, decorated with the French Legion of Honor, we do not Let's not imagine that he could commit this heinous act, "explained the Institute.