Historian, 63, dragged from river with severed arms of student lover, 24, in his bag before her head was found at his home

The 63-year-old historian 'accidentally killed her' when they got into an argument says the police report based on the man's confessions. He was dragged out of the freezing icy Moyka River early on November 9 morning.


                            Historian, 63, dragged from river with severed arms of student lover, 24, in his bag before her head was found at his home

Oleg Sokolov, a leading Russian expert on the Napoleonic Wars and a professor at St Petersburg State University, has been arrested on suspicion of murder after he was dragged out of the freezing icy Moyka River early on November 9 morning. He was found with two arms severed at the elbow in a backpack along with a gun. Later, a decapitated head and a body of a young woman identified as 24-year-old Anastasia Yeschenko along with a saw covered in blood were found at his flat in St Petersburg on Moyka Embankment.

According to the Daily Mail, Yeschenko was a student of the professor and also his lover. Although initial reports had claimed that his victim was a relative, it has been confirmed that it was Yeschenko and that the 63-year-old historian "accidentally killed her" when they got into an argument based on the police report of Sokolov's confessions. Reportedly, he is currently in detention in a hospital and is suffering from hypothermia. 

Oleg Sokolov, a history professor at St. Petersburg State University, wears a 1812-era French army general's uniform during a reenactment of the French Invasion of Russia in 1812, during celebrations to mark the Russian Orthodox Christmas in St.Petersburg, Russia. Police in the Russian city of St. Petersburg are planning to interrogate a prominent professor who has been detained on suspicion of killing a female student after being pulled from a frigid river on Saturday, Nov, 9, 2019 with a backpack containing severed arms. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, File)

Sokolov, who was the president of the Russian Association of Military History was also a member of the body's scientific council and is known for reenacting moments of Napoleonic history. He has reportedly worked as a technical advisor to European television broadcasters on films depicting the Napoleonic era, and was given knighthood of the Legion of Honour or Order of Legion d'Honneur in France in 2003. 

According to a Soviet news outlet, last year a female student accused Sokolov of threatening her and beating her. After shooting his girlfriend the historian hid her body in his flat and continued to receive guests. Reports suggest that Sokolov was planning to commit suicide while dressed as Napoleon in Peter & Paul Fortress, presumably in front of the tourists, but he did not follow through with it. He had fallen into the river while trying to dispose of the body parts. 
 
 

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