Russian authorities accuse historian in death of student

Rescuers examine the bottom of the Moika River where were the remains of a student allegedly killed by Oleg Sokolov found in St. Petersburg, Russia Sunday. Photo by Anatoly Maltsev/EPA-EFE

Nov. 10 (UPI) — A Russian historian and university lecturer has allegedly confessed to the death of a former student after being rescued from the Moika River in St. Petersburg Saturday.

Oleg Sokolov, a prominent historian at St. Petersburg State University, was rescued from the river, where he was taken to a hospital to be treated for hypothermia. Authorities discovered human remains in a backpack Sokolov as carrying.

Sokolov’s attorney, Alexander Pochuyez, told the Russian News Service TASS on Sunday that his client confessed to the death of a woman identified as Anastasia Yeshchenko. Pochuyev said Sokolov signed a plea bargain deal with authorities.

More fragments of Yeshchenko’s dismembered body were found in Sokolov’s apartment.

Yeshchenko was a postgraduate student who had co-authored writings with Sokolov’s and might have had a personal relationship with him. She served as a postgraduate student at St. Petersburg State after graduating from there three years ago.

Biographical information for the university said that Sokolov is a specialist in the military history of France and a professor at its Department of Modern and Contemporary History.

Authorities were looking into reports that Sokolov had beaten some of his students.

Formal charges are expected to be brought against Sokolov on Monday in St. Petersburg’s Oktyabrsky district court.


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