Russian historian arrested after womans arms found in his backpack

Russian Historian Found With Woman's Severed Arms In Backpack 'Enters Plea Bargain Deal'

A drunk man in his 60s was reportedly found on Saturday morning freezing in Saint-Petersburg's river Moika with a backpack containing some gruesome contents.

In June 2003, then-French President Jacques Chirac signed a decree awarding Sokolov the Order of Legion d'Honneur, France's highest decoration, for his studies and enormous contribution to popularisation of the history of France and its army, his university biography states.

The victim was identified by police sources as Anastasia Yeschenko, 24, who was a student of the professor, Russian media reports.

Students at the university have since described Sokolov as a "freak", stating he would often do impression of Napoleon and would call his lover "Josephine".

The historian is the author of books on Napoleon Bonaparte and had acted as a historical consultant on several films.

Many expressed dismay, saying Sokolov had always been known for his hostile behaviour but officials had ignored complaints.

Both he and Ms Yeshchenko studied French history and enjoyed wearing period costumes, with Prof Sokolov dressing up as Napoleon.

"They did not pay attention to certain things", he told AFP.


Media said that Sokolov also beat up and threatened to burn with a hot iron and kill another female student in 2008 but was never charged.

TASS said the human remains belonged to another person, presumed to be a man, and that police were working to establish the identity of that person.

Sokolov was a senior member of the Russian Military-Historical Society headed by Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky.

The organisation immediately sought to distance itself from the controversy.

He was also a member of France's Institute of Social Science, Economics and Politics (Issep), which on Saturday said it had removed him from his position on its scientific committee.

"As professor of modern history at the University of Saint Petersburg. awarded the French Légion d'Honneur, we would never have imagined that he could have committed this awful act".

"We learn with horror. the atrocious crime of which Oleg Sokolov is guilty.", it said.

Issep was founded by Marion Maréchal, the niece of far-right National Rally party leader Marine Le Pen and a former lawmaker for the far-right National Front party.

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