Famed Russian historian Oleg Sokolov jailed for butchering young lover

MOSCOW – A Saint Petersburg court on Friday sentenced a Russian historian and Napoleon enthusiast Oleg Sokolov for dismembering his young student and lover last year.

The trial began in June after delays due to the Covid pandemic.

Oleg Sokolov, 64, had murdered 24-year-old Anastasia Yeshchenk and according to him, he committed the crime in the heat of the moment during an argument.

He was arrested in November last year after he was found drunk and carrying a backpack containing a woman’s arms.

The court sentenced Sokolov to 12 years and six months in a strict regime penal colony on charges of murder and the illegal possession of firearms.

The historian lawyer Sergei Lukyanov said the defence “does not agree” with the sentence but will decide whether to appeal after receiving a copy of the verdict.

The victim’s parents also attended the sentencing. Their lawyer Alexandra Baksheyeva told reporters that even though “nothing can bring their daughter back” the family does not intend to appeal the verdict to request a harsher sentence.

Sokolov, a historian who received France’s Legion d’Honneur in 2003, authored several books on Napoleon Bonaparte and often led historical reenactments of the French emperor’s 1812 Russian campaign.