Russian professor who beheaded lover and piled limbs in backpack lost his head

A Napoleon nut decapitated his 24-year-old student lover and stashed her sawn-off limbs into a backpack.

Russian history professor, Oleg Sokolov, 65, has been rotting in jail since he was found guilty of murdering student Anastasia Yeshenko, on November 9, 2019.

Police dragged the Napoleon-obsessed historian who liked to dress up as his hero from the icy Moyka River in St Petersburg where he went to dump his beheaded victim's arms.

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Sokolov is now a couple of years into his 12-year prison sentence which he tried cutting short in 2021 by apologising to Anastasia's parents who he told "I lost my head".

After catching Sokolov by the river, investigators were horrified to find his girlfriend's head, body and a blood-covered saw at his flat on Moyka Embankment in St Petersburg.

Anastasia had been in a relationship with the historian when he “accidentally killed her” following an argument, he admitted.

Before Sokolov could be taken into custody he was taken to hospital where he was treated for hypothermia, following his visit to the river with a backpack of two female forearms and a gun.

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The killer had been hailed a leading Russian expert on the Napoleonic Wars and taught at St Petersburg State University, which was attended in the Soviet era by Vladimir Putin.

Sokolov was president of the Russian Association of Military History and had worked as a technical adviser to European television broadcasters on films depicting the Napoleonic era.

He was also made a knight of the Legion of Honour in France in 2003.

Appealing for clemency, Sokolov claimed he saw red after the PhD student "insulted" one of his daughters from a previous relationship.

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He told the court last year: "I deeply and sincerely repent.

"I don't know how to prove it. Can't you see it? For me, this is the worst pain, what I have done.

"I sincerely and endlessly repent. And the court, if it is fair, why not take this into account?"

But Anastasia's parents' lawyer Alexandra Baksheeva had told the court: "We expect the sentence to stay the same, with his appeal not granted."


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