Published: Mon, November 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Severed arms found in backpack of prominent Russian professor

Severed arms found in backpack of prominent Russian professor

According to reports, Ms Yeschenko - who had co-written several works with Prof Sokolov - had been in a relationship with the 63-year-old.

A Russian historian has been arrested on suspicion of murder after he was found in a river with a backpack containing a woman's severed arms.

Sokolov was reportedly drunk and fell in as he tried to dispose of body parts.

Russian Emergency rescuers and police investigators conduct searches on the Moika River, in Saint Petersburg, on November 10, 2019, following the murder of a woman that implicates Russian historian Oleg Sokolov.

His victim, Anastasia Yeshchenko, 24, was a former student of Sokolov.

Russian media, citing his lawyer Alexander Pochuev, said that he has since signed a statement of guilt, confessing to the killing.

He was president of the Russian Association of Military History and is now a member of the body's scientific council.

His students told AFP that he was a talented lecturer, but was also a "freak" who asked his lover to address him as "sire".

The scholar was particularly fond of dressing up as Napoleon and had dressed up as the French leader on the night of his arrest because he had planned to take his own life in a very public fashion outside the Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg, according to a suicide letter seen by 47 News.

The gruesome corpse and a severed head were found at his nearby apartment on Moyka Embankment, say reports.

The historian, who also taught at the Sorbonne, is the author of books on French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

Russian news agency TASS said that the newly discovered remains have not been identified but are presumed to belong to a man. It is unclear if the discovery is related to the death of Yeshchenko.

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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