Wednesday, 20 November, 2019

Petersburg Professor Murders Former Student, Attempts to Dump Remains in River

Russian Historian Found With Woman's Severed Arms In Backpack 'Enters Plea Bargain Deal' Russian Historian Arrested After Woman's Arms Found In His Backpack
Patty Aguilar | 10 November, 2019, 19:51

Police in Saint Petersburg on Saturday 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.

Late on Friday night, Sokolov went to the river to sink parts of the body but could not make the backpack sink, media said, citing investigators.

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

They seemingly shared a liking for period costumes.

Police discovered the two female arms, which had been severed at the elbow, as well as a gun in his bag. After conducting a search at his home, they found Anastasia's decapitated body. The man was taken to a local hospital for hypothermia, and police quickly launched a criminal investigation after looking inside the bag.

Lawyer Alexander Pochuev said Sokolov, an expert in French revolutionary military history, had signed a statement of guilt, according to reports.

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One day later, the professor - a man who has been decorated with the Legion of Honor - the highest French order of merit - for his scientific and public works, attempted to dispose of the young woman's body by dismembering it.

In May 2018, the Russian outlet Moskovsky Komsomolets published an anonymous story by one of Sokolov's students who accused the professor of beating and bullying her and torturing her with an iron 10 years earlier.

Investigators did not name the man but police speaking to AFP identified him as Sokolov. He was well-known for re-enacting historical battles.

He was reportedly planning to dispose of her corpse and later publicly commit suicide dressed up as Napoleon.

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.

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