Woman’s arms found in Russian historian’s bag

Published: November 11, 2019 13:31:26 | Updated: November 16, 2019 20:35:16

In this Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012 file photo, Oleg Sokolov, a history professor at St. Petersburg State University, wears a 1812-era French army general's uniforms during a staged battle re-enactment to mark the 200th anniversary of the battle of Borodino which in 1812 was the largest and bloodiest single-day action of the French invasion of Russia, in St. Petersburg, Russia. Dmitri Lovetsky—AP

A well-known Russian historian has confessed to murdering his lover, his lawyer says, after he was found in a river with a backpack containing a woman's arms.

Oleg Sokolov, 63, was drunk and fell into the river as he tried to dispose of body parts, Russian media said.

Police then found the decapitated body of Anastasia Yeshchenko, 24, at his home in the city of St Petersburg.

Prof Sokolov is a Napoleon expert who has received France's Légion d'Honneur, reports the BBC.

Prof Sokolov reportedly told police he had killed his lover during an argument and had then sawn off her head, arms and legs.

He is said to have planned to get rid of the body before publicly taking his own life dressed as Napoleon.

Mr Pochuyev said Prof Sokolov - who has been receiving hospital treatment for hypothermia - may have been under stress.

What do we know about the victim?

Ms Yeshchenko moved to St Petersburg to study from Krasnodar region in southern Russia, and was a postgraduate student at the time of her death.

"She was quiet, sweet and always the ideal student," an acquaintance told Ria news agency. "Absolutely everyone knew about their relationship."

She studied French history and co-authored several historical works with Prof Sokolov. The couple enjoyed wearing period costumes, with Prof Sokolov dressing up as Napoleon.

Russian media report that her mother was a police lieutenant colonel and her father a school PE teacher. She had a brother who once played as a goalkeeper for the national junior football team.

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