Russian Napoleon-expert found drunk in river with student’s severed arms

Professor tries to drown severed female hands in Moika River

- Police in Saint Petersburg on November 9, 2019, arrested a prominent Russian historian on suspicion of murdering a former student after he was hauled out of a river with a backpack containing a woman's arms, authorities said.

Law enforcement officials told the Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti that the dismembered body of the victim, Anastasia Yeshchenko, a former student of the professor, was found in Mr Sokolov's apartment.

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

After recovering from hypothermia in the Mariinsky Hospital, Sokolov was questioned by police Sunday, reports say.

That year, he received France's highest civilian award, Legion d'Honneur.

Students described Sokolov as both a talented lecturer who could impersonate the French emperor and his generals and a "freak" who called his lover "Josephine" and liked to be addressed as "Sire".

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

"When the iron warmed up, he brought it to my face, so that I could feel its heat coming from him, and began to threaten that it would disfigure me for the rest of my life", the girl reportedly said in a police statement in 2008.

Near Record Cold Wednesday
Additional lake effect totals will be significant in Berrien and Cass counties by late Tuesday/early Wednesday. At this time, generally a coating to an inch of snowfall is expected during the day on Tuesday, Nov. 12 .

But Russian media reports note that Sokolov was born in 1956 and suggested that Sokolov had fallen into the river while he was intoxicated.

"A 63-year-old man was rescued from the River Moika", investigators stated in assertion.

Sokolov has written several books on Napoleon.

Both he and Yeschenko enjoyed wearing period costumes, with Sokolov frequently dressing up as Napoleon.

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

Mr Sokolov was also member of the French-based Institute of Social Science, Economic and Politics (ISSEP), an academic institution founded by Marion Maréchal, the niece of Marine le Pen, France's far-right National Rally party leader.

"Sokolov acted under some sort of strong influence, for now we can only make assumptions", Pochuyev said.

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