The renowned Russian historian Oleg Sokolov, arrested on Saturday by the Russian police, who took him out of a river with a backpack containing two arms of a woman, confessed on Sunday that he had killed and dismembered a former student.
This great Napoleon specialist was apparently drunk when the police took him out of the Moika River in St. Petersburg. According to local media reports, he fell into the water when he was planning to throw away body parts. Sthe intention was to get rid of the body completely and commit suicide publicly, dressed in Napoleon, add the Russian media.
"He acknowledged his guilt," said his lawyer Alexander Potchouev, adding that the 63-year-old historian, currently hospitalized for hypothermia, regretted his act and was ready to cooperate with the police. It must be presented in court on Monday. Oleg Sokolov allegedly told the investigators that he had killed a former student Anastassia Echchenko with whom he had an affair and who lived at home. He then cut off his head, his arms and his legs to try to get rid of it, assure the Russian media. Anastassia Echchenko, 24, was also passionate about the Napoleonic era and liked, like Oleg Sokolov, to wear period costumes. After being his student, she continued to collaborate with him.
"An eccentric" to abusive behavior
Holder of a chair of history at the State University of St. Petersburg, Oleg Sokolov was the author of several books, some translated into French. Decorated with the Legion d'Honneur in 2003, he also worked as a consultant on Napoleon films and documentaries. He was also a member in France of the scientific council of Issep, the school founded by former far-right MP Marion Marechal, who dismissed him from the announcement of his arrest.
This admirer of Napoleon was, according to his students, a talented teacher, who spoke French. But it seemed to them also "weird", loving to dress in Napoleon and to be called "Sire" or calling his companion Josephine. One of his former students, explained that Oleg Sokolov was considered one of the best professors of the university but also as a man "Eccentric" who sometimes screamed in French during his classes. His relationship with Anastasia Echchenko was an open secret. "But everyone was OK with that, it was their business."
Some students of this prestigious 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 politics of silence According to another former student. According to Russian media, Oleg Sokolov had already beaten and threatened a woman in 2008, but had never been prosecuted for these acts.