- 15-year-old 'Satanist' says he burnt down one of Russia's most historic churches
- Ignat Sharapov used five litres of petrol to ignite the wooden church, police said
- Satanist images found on his social media and he recently cut heads off hens
A teenage 'Satanist' has been detained after he 'confessed' to destroying one of Russia's most historic churches in an arson attack.
The wooden Dormition orthodox church on the shore of Lake Onega was erected in 1774 by Catherine the Great - and burned down in a raging inferno last week.
Now a 15 year old schoolboy named as Ignat Sharapov - whose social media is full of satanist signs and images - has admitted he set fire to the structure by using five litres of petrol to ignite its dry timber, police said.
An expert said it will cost £1 million to reconstruct the 138 ft church - as tall as a 12 storey building - at Kondopoga in Karelia republic in northern Russia.
'He classifies himself as a Satanist,' a law enforcement source said.
'Allegedly he just did not like the church.'
A witness said: 'He was a Satanist, dressed in black.
'And when he was detained by police, he laughed.'
Earlier, he ate breakfast and told his relatives he was going to destroy the church which had stood beside Lake Onega for 244 years.
They thought he was joking.
Next he asked his grandmother to wrap up some homemade biscuits for him to give to his friend.
He met his friend, then read something on his tablet computer.
'His expression changed - he got up and said: 'I'm going to burn down the church,' his friend said.
He doused the church in petrol then set fire to it.
'He took with him five litres of gasoline, and walked along the lake ... The dry timber caught like a candle,' the church caretaker said.
Twenty four firefighters with six appliances rushed to the scene of the famous church but were unable to extinguish the flames which destroyed the bell tower in a few minutes and the entire structure in two hours.
The boy then fled the scene and was apprehended after his grandmother called the emergency services to report the fire.
He has been held by police in detention pending further investigations into a criminal case involving arson.
Sharapov's social media contained a picture of a burning church before the attack on the historic 18th century building, along with many satanic images.
State-run TV named the boy citing law enforcement sources and showed his satanic 'temple' in a disused poultry farm building daubed in devil-worshipping signs and slogans.
'He believed in Satan. He was into pentagrams, and he has a hall of evil spirits,' Sharapov's cousin Ilya Kornilov told Vesti news.
Recently, he was seen cutting the heads off hens 'just out of interest'.
He refused to swim in the lake with other teenagers if he could see the church.
'He would not swim if the church was visible,' said a friend.
The church was destroyed on the same day - 10 August - as Norwegian pagan Varg Vikernes murdered Mayhem guitarist Øystein 'Euronymous' Aarseth.
Vikernes, 45, was also convicted of church-burning in Norway.
The boy's mother Larisa Sharapova, 49, has not commented.
Church restoration expert Tatiana Vakhrameeva said it would cost as much as 80 million roubles - almost £1 million - to reconstruct the church which was burned virtually to the ground.