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Russian historian, battle reenactor detained on suspicion of murder - investigators

The Russian Investigative Committee’s investigative department for St. Petersburg told that Oleg Sokolov is formally charged

ST. PETERSBURG, November 9. /TASS/. A lecturer of St. Petersburg State University and a founder of the battle reenactment movement in Russia, Oleg Sokolov, has been detained on suspicion of murder in the hospital, where he is being treated for hypothermia, the Russian Investigative Committee’s investigative department for St. Petersburg told TASS on Saturday.

"He is formally charged," the spokesperson said. The investigative department told TASS that the reports circulated in the media that Sokolov was making confessions are not true.

St. Petersburg’s investigative department of Russia’s Investigative Committee reported on its website that a man born in 1956 was rescued from a river in the city on Saturday morning. Human remains, or two female arms, and a traumatic pistol were found in his backpack. St. Petersburg investigators set up a criminal inquiry under Article 105 Part 1 of Russia’s Criminal Code (murder). The law enforcement agencies confirmed to TASS that the man in question was Sokolov.

Oleg Sokolov, PhD in History Candidate, was born in 1956 in Leningrad. He is an associate professor at the New and Modern History Department of St. Petersburg State University. Sokolov has authored a series of monographs on the Napoleon-ruled French military and the personality of Napoleon Bonaparte, according to the information on the university website. In 2003, then French President Jacques Chirac signed a decree awarding Sokolov the Order of Legion d'Honneur, France’s highest decoration, for his studies and enormous contribution to popularization of the history of France and its army.

In 1976, Sokolov founded the first group of battle reenactors in the Soviet Union, which laid the foundation for contemporary historical reenactment in Russia. The Russian Military History Movement, which unites military history clubs in 52 Russian regions, was founded in 2006 under Sokolov’s leadership.