A famous academic who was awarded France's Legion of Honour admitted to killing and dismembering his 24-year old student lover. He was reportedly planning to commit suicide dressed up as Napoleon.
Oleg Sokolov, a prominent Russian academic specialising in Napoleonic history, confessed to murdering his young lover and former student Anastasia Yeshchenko and dismembering her body.
According to local media, the university professor was drunk and fell into the river as he tried to dispose of body parts.
Sokolov told investigators he killed his lover during an argument and then sawed off her head, arms and legs.
He was reportedly planning to dispose of her corpse and later publicly commit suicide dressed up as Napoleon.
Police discovered the decapitated body of 24-year-old Anastasia Yeshchenko at Sokolov's house.
A Napoleon impersonator who called his lover 'Josephine'
Both the professor and his deceased lover studied French history and co-authored a number of works.
They seemingly shared a liking for period costumes.
Reports say Sokolov liked dressing up as Napoleon and impersonating the former French emperor.
Some students said he was a 'freak' who called his lover 'Josephine' (Napoleon's first wife) and asked to be addressed as 'Sire'.
An ardent francophile respected in France
The historian is the author of books on Napoleon Bonaparte and had acted as a historical consultant on several films.
He received France's Legion d'Honneur in 2003.
Sokolov was also a member of France's Institute of Social Science, Economics and Politics (ISSEP) founded by Marion Marechal, the niece of far-right leader Marine Le Pen
ISSEP announced in a statement that he had been stripped of his position on its scientific committee.
"We learn with horror ... the atrocious crime of which Oleg Sokolov is guilty...," it said.
As an academic of such standing, the statement added, "we could never imagine that he could commit such an odious act".