Napoleon-Obsessed Historian Who Chopped His Lover Into Pieces is Not Insane

Napoleon-Obsessed Historian Who Chopped His Lover Into Pieces is Not Insane

A prominent Russian military historian who killed and dismembered his student lover was sane when he shot her, psychiatric experts have said.

Napoleonic academic Oleg Sokolov, 63, is accused of shooting 24-year-old PhD student Anastasia Yeschenko with a bolt-action TOZ-17 rifle styled to look like a 19th century cavalry gun at his home in St Petersburg last year.

The historian, who often dressed up as the French dictator, is then accused of dismembering Miss Yeschenko, placing her body parts in plastic bags, and dumping them in the Moika River.

Following his arrest in November last year – when Sokolov was found in the river holding a backpack containing some of the remains – psychiatrists were asked to assess his mental state.

They have now ruled that he was sane at the time.

The analysis showed he was not in a ‘strong emotional state’ or a ‘psychologically traumatic situation’ when he killed her, said the report.

His lawyer Alexander Pochuev claimed Sokolov faced ‘bullying’ by the leaking of psychiatric findings ahead of his trial.

He blamed prosecutors seeking to ‘discredit’ Sokolov, he told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

Police initially believed that Sokolov stabbed Yeschenko to death before dismembering her, but now believe he shot her.

Detectives say he loaded his rifle with 5.6-mm Sniper rifle bullets and shot the woman in her head several times.

A total of eight bullets were missing from his ammunition box.

Earlier it was reported her body also had stab wounds.

Sokolov earlier claimed Yeschenko had strongly objected to him seeing his children from a previous marriage, and this led to a row.

But in a confession written to a newspaper he said: ‘I understand that I committed an horrific thing and deserve the strictest penalty possible.’

His academic career and achievements including the French Legion of Honour were ‘crossed out in a few seconds’ when he shot his student lover, he admitted.

‘I don’t care what is said about me. It doesn’t matter,’ he said.

‘I killed her and myself too. I do not exist. My cherished memory of Anastasia is the most important thing for me now.

‘We were supposed to get married and were planning the wedding.

‘In over five years (dating) I had not raised my hand to her. Even scandals between us were rare.’

The academic has been transferred from Serbsky to Moscow’s notorious high-security Butyrka detention facility.

He faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison if convicted at his upcoming trial.

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