Russia extends detention of respected Napoleon expert over murder of his student-turned-lover

Renowned historian Oleg Sokolov (63) killed and dismembered his student-turned-lover Anastasia Yeshchenko (24), in a grisly murder, last month

Last month, Russian historian Oleg Sokolov (63) was fished out of Moika river at St Petersberg. In the backpack he had with him, authorities found severed arms of his student-turned-lover Anastasia Yeshchenko (24).

The sexagenarian Napoleon expert had murdered his partner, dismembered her body and tried to dispose of her body parts. He soon admitted to his crime. A Moscow court on Tuesday, December 24 has extended his pre-trial detention, until April 2020.

About Oleg Sokolov and the grisly murder he executed

Oleg Sokolov
Oleg Sokolov Wikimedia Commons

At the time of the murder, Sokolov taught at St Petersburg State University, where Yeshchenko was a post-graduate student. He is a Napoleon expert, who often held Napoleonic re-enactments, in which Yeshchenko also participated. He was awarded France's highest honour, Légion d'Honneur, in 2003.

In November, a dispute between the lovers of five years, resulted in Sokolov murdering Yeshchenko, with a sawn-off rifle, before dismembering her body. The next day, he entertained guests at his home, while her lover's dismembered body lay in the next room. He tried disposing the body, the next day, but in an inebriated state, fell into the Moyka river, from which he was fished out along with his backpack that held the woman's sawed arms.

Sokolov had decided to take his own life before public, the next day, dressed as Napoleon Bonaparte, but was arrested before that. Within a few days since his arrest, he admitted murdering her lover and dismembering her body, and was sent for a pre-trial detention.

Court extends Sokolov's pre-trial detention till April next year

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On Tuesday, a Moscow court extended Sokolov's detention till April 9. "The court has ruled to extend the detention for three months, until April 9", Sokolov's lawyer Alexander Pochuyev told AFP. The defence will decide whether to appeal, later, he added.

This case along with another student's allegation that Sokolov had abused her in 2008, led to widespread outrage with a demand to address issues of domestic violence and harassment in Russian universities. Presently, the Eurasian nation doesn't have laws to specifically address issues of domestic violence or sexual harassment in the workplace.