A leading Russian military historian accused of murdering his 24-year-old lover was seen today taking part in a crime re-enactment.
St Petersburg State University history professor Oleg Sokolov was flanked by police officers and wearing protective clothing for the investigation in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Earlier this week, Sokolov confessed to shooting his girlfriend Anastasia Yeshchenko dead and disposing of her body parts in a St Petersburg river.
However, he insisted he had acted in self-defence and said Yeshchenko had ‘attacked me with a knife’ during a row.
Sokolov accompanied by police officers for Friday’s crime re-enactment. The historian allegedly shot and killed his lover during an argument and then sawed off her head, arms and legs
St Petersburg State University history professor Oleg Sokolov (centre) was flanked by officers and wearing protective clothing for the crime reenactment on Friday
Sokolov (left and right) wore protective clothing including helmet and bullet-proof helmet
One of the officials partaking in the investigation was seen carrying a life-size female mannequin dressed in white nightgown
Professor Oleg Sokolov (right) was arrested on suspicion of murder after he was dragged from a freezing river carrying two severed arms in a backpack. The young woman – identified by police sources as 24-year-old Anastasia Yeschenko (left) – was a student of the professor, reported Russian media
Sokolov was accompanied by several officers on Friday as they retraced his steps almost a week after the murder took place in the early hours of Saturday, November 9.
The 63-year-old wore body armour including a protective helmet and bullet proof vest for the occasion.
One of the officials partaking in the investigation was seen carrying a life-size female mannequin dressed in a white gown.
It comes after the Russian military historian was dragged from the icy Moyka River in St Petersburg in the early hours of Saturday morning. In his backpack were two female arms severed at the elbow and a gun.
The historian allegedly shot and killed his lover during an argument and then sawed off her head, arms and legs.
St Petersburg State University history professor Oleg Sokolov takes part in a crime re-enactment on Friday
Sokolov (left and right) is flanked by officers during the crime re-enactment on Friday which saw the group retrace his steps almost a week after the murder took place
The 63-year-old wore a protective helmet and bullet proof vest for the occasion
Sokolov surrounded by officers. It comes after the Russian military historian was dragged from the icy Moyka River in St Petersburg in the early hours of Saturday morning
An officer taking part in the crime re-enactment in St Petersburg on Monday
Police later found Yeshchenko’s decapitated body at his home along with a blood-stained saw.
Investigators found more of Yeshchenko’s remains in the river on Monday, Interfax news agency reported.
Sokolov was formally charged with murder on Monday night and ordered to remain in custody for two months ahead of his trial.
‘I am devastated by what has happened, I repent,’ a pale and unshaven Sokolov said in court.
In Sokolov’s backpack were two female arms severed at the elbow and a gun. Pictured: Search and rescue workers in the Moyka River by an apartment block where Sokolov lives
Investigation: Rescuers examine the Moika River where the remains were found and where Sokolov was hauled out of the water after allegedly disposing of the body parts
Accused: Oleg Sokolov in court on Monday where he admitted killing his student lover but claimed he had acted in self-defence after she attacked him with a knife
Suspect: The prominent Napoleon expert broke down in tears in court and covered his face (pictured) in the defendant’s glass enclosure
Yeshchenko (pictured) had been shot at least four times with a rifle after an argument, and her decapitated body and a blood-stained saw were found at the historian’s home, it is claimed
‘We loved each other very strongly and planned to get married,’ he said in the defendant’s glass enclosure at a court in St Petersburg.
Defending himself, Sokolov told the judge that ‘she went mad when I mentioned my children’ from a previous marriage and ‘attacked me with a knife’.
The pair had a fight with a knife before he shot her four times with a Soviet TOZ-17 rifle which had been redesigned as a 19th-century gun, he claimed.
‘I do not understand how this happened. I have never beaten a woman,’ he told the court.
‘I have never seen such a flow of aggression. The knife attack – this was something unthinkable… In my life nothing close to this ever happened before.
‘I thought this girl was an ideal creature – and she gradually turned into a beast from a scary fairytale. Unimaginable.’
Disposal? This CCTV footage shows Russian military historian Oleg Sokolov allegedly throwing his dead lover’s body parts into a river in St Petersburg
Happy couple: Oleg Sokolov dancing with his 24-year-old student lover Anastasia Yeshchenko at a ball just a year before he killed her and dismembered her body
Lavish: Sokolov and Yeshchenko sip champagne while dressed in period costumes at a Napoleon-themed ball last year
The Saint Petersburg State University professor is a prominent Napoleon expert who often dressed as the French emperor and liked to be called ‘Sire’.
Sokolov had lived with Yeshchenko for several years, and the pair would dress up in period costumes and write books together.
The historian frequently led re-enactments of Napoleon’s war in Russia, and received France’s Legion d’Honneur in 2003.
The case has shocked Russia and drawn fresh attention to harassment and violence against women, including in academic circles.
Insiders said Sokolov had a history of erratic behaviour and reports have surfaced that he had abused another female student.
The university said yesterday that Sokolov will be fired over the ‘monstrous crime’ and issued condolences.
More than 30,000 people have signed an online petition urging authorities to probe the management of Saint Petersburg State University.
Prominent: Sokolov was a professor at St Petersburg University and would often dress up as Napoleon (he is pictured above in 2012)
Ms Yeschenko had been in a relationship with the historian, 63, when he ‘accidentally killed her’ following an argument, according to the report which stated he had confessed to police
Victim Ms Yeschenko. Sokolov had lived with Yeshchenko for several years, and the pair would dress up in period costumes and write books together
The Kremlin yesterday called the murder at Vladimir Putin’s alma mater ‘a monstrous act of insanity’, but sought to portray it as an isolated case.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to answer on the harassment issue, saying: ‘What does the presidential administration have to do with it?’.
Law enforcement stopped her mother Galina, a police lieutenant-colonel, from formally identifying Anastastia because to do so would be ‘too traumatic’.
Her father Oleg Yeshchenko said: ‘I was not personally acquainted with [Sokolov]. But Anastasia never said anything bad about him.
‘So what happened shocked us.’
Sokolov met his first wife – also called Anastasia – when he was a 34-year-old schoolteacher and she was his teenage student, according to reports. She later died of cancer.
The professor is separated from his second wife Anna, who reportedly knew about his relationship with Yeshchenko.