Saturday, November 16, 2019

Russian professor’s sick plan after allegedly murdering ex-student

Details of a grizzly murder have come to light after a celebrated Russian professor was found in a freezing river clutching a backpack last week.

Inside the bag were two severed arms belonging to his ex-student turned lover.
Oleg Sokolov, 63-year-old history professor at St Petersburg State University, has been charged with the murder of 24-year-old Anastasia Yeshchenko.
Twisted details of the alleged murder have come to light in recent days after Sokolov reportedly confessed to the killing.
The now disgraced professor told the court he had loved Yeshchenko and that they had been lovers for five years.
He claimed he “lost control” when they were arguing over his children from another relationship, causing him to shoot her four times with a sawn-off rifle.
He then claimed she attacked him with a knife.
“During the row, we all lost control. I don’t understand how it happened. Something like this has never happened to me before. She attacked me with a knife,” he was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.
“I repent.”
The alleged attack occurred on Thursday last week (local time) at his luxury apartment.
After the young woman was killed Sokolov reportedly left her body behind a closed door while he entertained guests in the next room the following day.
After his guests left on Friday he allegedly dismembered the body, sawing off his lover’s head, arms and legs.
Sokolov has previously been awarded France’s highest honour, the Legion of Honour, for his studies of French history.
He was known for his fascination with Napoleon Bonaparte and often organised Napoleonic re-enactments, in which Yeshchenko would participate.
The professor allegedly planned to publicly take his own life on Sunday dressed as Napoleon after disposing of the body.
But his plans were foiled when he fell into the Moyka River on Saturday morning while allegedly attempting to dispose of her body parts.
Sokolov was hauled from the freezing water after being seen splashing about in the river.
That was when the severed arms were found in his backpack, along with a gun that fires rubber bullets.
He was treated for hypothermia before being taken to the police station for questioning.
Yeshchenko’s head was allegedly found in the apartment after police conducted a search.
Divers have been combing the river for more of the young woman’s remains.

Sokolov appeared in court on Monday and was visibly upset, occasionally holding his head in his hands as he spoke to his lawyer.
At one point he was sobbing so loudly that the judge had to adjourn proceedings.
The court rejected Sokolov’s appeal to be held under house arrest and ruled him to be held in pre-trial custody for two months.
The horrific case drew fresh attention to pervasive sexual harassment and violence against women in Russia, including in academic circles.
Observers said Sokolov had a history of erratic behaviour and reports surfaced that he had abused another female student, prompting outrage that the university took no action at the time.
The university said Monday that Sokolov will be fired over the “monstrous crime” and issued condolences.
The petition said Sokolov had treated students “in a monstrous way” and cited another female student as saying that he had beaten her, threatened to burn her with a hot iron and kill her in 2008.
“For unknown reasons, the abuser managed to escape any punishment,” the petition said, adding that police who had ignored the woman’s complaint should also be probed.
Many students blamed the university leadership, saying it had long ignored the problem.
“No one paid attention,” student Ivan Pustovoit told AFP on campus, blaming the university for not stopping Sokolov “in time”.
The university said in a statement that it was unable to corroborate reports about the 2008 assault, but that Sokolov was “disciplined” for unethical conduct during a lecture last year.
The Kremlin on Monday called the murder “a monstrous act of insanity” but sought to portray it as an isolated case.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said President Vladimir Putin, who attended Saint Petersburg State University, was aware of what had happened.
He declined however to address concerns over reports of harassment in Russian universities, saying: “What does the presidential administration have to do with it?”
Russia has no specific legislation on domestic violence or sexual harassment in the workplace and feminist movements like #MeToo have had little impact in the country.

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