Russian historian discovered with physique elements accused of homicide

Sokolov in court, 11 Nov 19Picture copyright
Getty Photographs

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Oleg Sokolov broke down in courtroom and confessed to the grisly killing


Russian prosecutors have accused a famend historian of homicide after he admitted taking pictures after which dismembering his pupil associate in St Petersburg.

Prof Oleg Sokolov, 63, was rescued drunk from the Moika river within the metropolis early on Saturday and was discovered to have a girl’s arms in his backpack.


Police later discovered different physique elements additional downriver and in his flat, recognized as Anastasia Yeshchenko, 24. She had been residing with him.

He sobbed in courtroom, saying: “I repent”.

Prof Sokolov was ordered into pre-trial custody for 2 months.

In courtroom he admitted taking pictures Ms Yeshchenko 4 occasions with a sawn-off shotgun, then chopping up the physique with a noticed and kitchen knife. A stun pistol was additionally discovered within the backpack.

Divers are nonetheless looking for extra stays: he’s suspected of getting dumped two extra baggage within the river.

He sobbed so loudly in courtroom that at one stage the decide adjourned proceedings.

Prof Sokolov is a Napoleon skilled who has acquired France’s prime state award, the Légion d’Honneur. He has written dozens of historic analysis papers, and Ms Yeshchenko, a postgraduate pupil, co-wrote a few of them.

He organised Napoleonic re-enactments – taking part in the function of Napoleon himself – and she or he participated.

Prof Sokolov stated the pair had been residing collectively for 5 years, although different studies described it as a three-year relationship.

The case has triggered outrage: girls’s rights activists say it illustrates widespread indifference in the direction of sexual harassment and home violence in Russia.

An internet petition has collected greater than 7,500 signatures, demanding that the managers of St Petersburg State College, the place he lectured, be dismissed.

It accuses them of getting ignored earlier college students’ complaints about Prof Sokolov.

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AFP

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Prof Sokolov loved dressing up as Napoleon

In courtroom he alleged that Ms Yeshchenko had attacked him with a knife – and at that time he shot her – throughout a blazing row.

“This lady, who appeared like a lovely ultimate to me, changed into a monster,” he alleged. He stated she was jealous of his youngsters from a earlier marriage.

Her dad and mom rejected his model of occasions.

The Kremlin has described it as a “monstrous” crime. President Vladimir Putin graduated from St Petersburg State College.

The college has now dismissed Prof Sokolov and he has additionally been faraway from a put up at France’s Institute of Social Science, Economics and Politics (Issep).

Prof Sokolov was handled in hospital for hypothermia after rescuers hauled him out of the icy water on Saturday. Ms Yeshchenko was killed in his flat on Thursday evening.

Her head was discovered within the flat, in addition to the shotgun, knives, an axe and ammunition, Russian media report.

He’s stated to have deliberate to eliminate the physique earlier than publicly taking his personal life dressed as Napoleon.

A St Petersburg native councillor and former pupil of the professor, Vasily Kunin, has tweeted that he raised issues about Prof Sokolov’s earlier behaviour however the college authorities didn’t act on his criticism.

In keeping with college students, quoted by AFP, Prof Sokolov loved talking French, did impressions of Napoleon, and referred to as Ms Yeshchenko “Josephine” and requested to be addressed as “Sire”.

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AFP

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Police divers have been looking out St Petersburg’s Moika river

Ms Yeshchenko moved to St Petersburg to review from Krasnodar area in southern Russia, and was a postgraduate pupil on the time of her demise.

“She was quiet, candy and all the time the perfect pupil,” an acquaintance advised Russia’s RIA information company. “Completely everybody knew about their relationship.”

Russian media report that her mom is a police lieutenant colonel and her father a college PE instructor. A brother as soon as performed as a goalkeeper for the nationwide junior soccer staff.

The papers listed here are filled with particulars of this homicide, the tragic and ugly story of a superb and delightful younger pupil shot and dismembered by her 63-year previous former professor-turned-lover.

In these accounts, Oleg Sokolov emerges as a historian whose curiosity in Napoleon bordered on the obsessive. He had a glittering CV as a revered skilled on French army historical past, who had been visiting professor on the Sorbonne. He was additionally a serious determine on this planet of historic re-enactment.

One good friend advised Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper the professor had organised costume balls and picnics, in addition to recreating battles. However organisations he is been linked to have now scrubbed his identify from their web sites.

Anastasia Yeshchenko’s affair with the married professor was widespread information on the college. Mates say she was a prime pupil, extremely smart, who shared her lover’s ardour for Napoleonic historical past. One individual described the professor as “eccentric however not aggressive”; others claimed he thought-about himself Napoleon reincarnated.

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AFP

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Prof Sokolov’s condominium, the place Ms Yeshchenko’s head was discovered, has been sealed off