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French academic institute expels Russian killer professor

Marion Maréchal, niece of far-right leader Marine Le Pen, founded  ISSEP, The Institute of Social Studies, Economics and Poltics, in Lyon.
Marion Maréchal, niece of far-right leader Marine Le Pen, founded ISSEP, The Institute of Social Studies, Economics and Poltics, in Lyon. JEFF PACHOUD / AFP

A famous academic associated with ISSEP, a French institute founded by far-right politician Marion Maréchal, admitted to killing and dismembering his 24-year old student lover. He has since been expelled by the institute.

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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.

Paris Sorbonne University's professor Oleg Sokolov used to dress up as and impersonate Napoleon. (File photo of Sokolov taken on June 23, 2012)
Paris Sorbonne University's professor Oleg Sokolov used to dress up as and impersonate Napoleon. (File photo of Sokolov taken on June 23, 2012) AFP

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".

 

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