On November 9, in St. Petersburg, the 63-year-old historian, assistant professor of SPSU Oleg Sokolov was taken from the Moika River. When Sokolov was a backpack in which lay two sawn off female hands. Later it turned out that the scientist killed his 24-year-old former student, whom he lived with and was about to marry. Sokolov has already pleaded guilty. On November 11, he was arrested for two months. Medusa tells how the first trial in this case went.
“They say that everything is clear in this story. But the investigation is just beginning to work, and far from everything is clear, ”said lawyer Alexander Pochuev, counsel for Oleg Sokolov, before the trial began. Pochuev noted that, despite the historian’s confession, he doesn’t exclude even the version of the self-incrimination. Why Sokolov might need to slander himself, the lawyer did not explain.
The meeting in the Oktyabrsky District Court, which decided the issue of the arrest of the scientist, began about 15 hours. Sokolov sat in a glass cage-aquarium and looked completely lost. From time to time, the overweight historian blew his nose loudly in a handkerchief - the historian caught a cold in Moika, from where he was taken out on November 9 with two sawed-off female hands. Almost immediately after the start of the meeting, Sokolov burst into tears - he clasped his head in his hands and howled. The meeting was adjourned for a couple of minutes.
- Pull yourself together. I understand that this is a stressful situation for you. But believe me, for the rest it is no less stressful. All adults, we must somehow continue to work, ”the judge Julia Maksimenko urged the historian.
“Please continue to work,” Sokolov answered quietly.
The historian began to cry several more times - for example, when the investigator monotonously read from the sheet that Sokolov had killed his former student Anastasia Yeshenko, with whom he lived together, with four shots from a sawed-off shotgun, after which he dismembered and threw parts of the body into the Moika River.
Attorney Alexander Pochuev tried his best to protect the historian from the attention of the media: he asked to close the process or, in extreme cases, to ban journalists from even making audio recordings, but Judge Maksimenko refused in both cases. Sokolov himself was also worried that the information from the meeting "today will go on the Internet."
Having been refused to close the process, Pochuyev asked for permission to speak at a meeting with a witness, Sokolov’s old acquaintance Veronika Karagodina. In her short speech, Karagodina said she had known Sokolov since the 1990s when she worked at the Lenfilm film studio.
“Oleg Valerievich advised one of the directors. “I was struck by the scale of the person, his vast knowledge of history and culture, his intention to make the world a better place,” said Karagodina. - At that time, he led a group of like-minded people who sewed costumes with their own money, reconstructed the battles between the Russian and Napoleonic armies, and this is a huge enlightening work. What happened, it seems to me a misunderstanding, it's hard to believe in such a thing. ”
Sokolov himself, who had already confessed to the murder, stressed at the meeting that he was repenting and “shocked that this could happen.” The historian stated that he agreed with the request of the investigation for the arrest. However, his lawyer, who requested a house arrest, did not agree with this position. “We consider keeping Oleg Valeryevich together with the repeat offenders and keeping him on a prison jail,” said Alexander Pochuev.
After Sokolov once again said that he was repenting, Judge Maksimenko asked him about the motives for the crime. The historian explained in a trembling voice that he had lived with Anastasia Yeshchenko for five years, and this August introduced her to friends as a bride. Sokolov claims that they loved each other very much and planned a wedding, but then the relationship began to deteriorate. The girl was "mad" at the mention of his children from his ex-wife - two minor daughters. “The girl who seemed to me an ideal creature turned into a monster from a terrible tale,” Sokolov said.
The historian said that on the day of the murder he met Anastasia with flowers and champagne and everything was supposedly fine until he mentioned the children (brother Yeshenko said that the conflict arose because of the jealousy of the scientist). “Then we lost control of ourselves. This is unimaginable. I have never seen such a stream of aggression, ”Sokolov said. The historian also mentioned a certain “attack with a knife”, but Pochuev’s lawyer did not allow him to answer the judge’s question, does he mean that a former student attacked him with a knife before the murder. The parties decided that this issue would be clarified during a further investigation.
Oleg Sokolov called the murder "a monstrous misfortune."
At about 4 p.m. Judge Yulia Maksimenko went into the deliberation room, from where she left about an hour later and announced that the historian was arrested for two months - until January 8, 2020. The judge emphasized that in freedom Sokolov may try to get rid of evidence or hide abroad, where he often goes to lecture. The historian himself did not object to his arrest.
After the court decision, St. Petersburg State University (SPbU) announced the dismissal of Oleg Sokolov from the post of teacher of the history faculty. “The university is shocked by this monstrous crime,” the university said.
At the same time, a single picket was held in the center of St. Petersburg on Malaya Sadovaya Street criticizing the leadership of St. Petersburg State University and the authorities of St. Petersburg - because Oleg Sokolov had not been fired earlier, after complaints from other students. For example, one of Sokolov’s students said that in 2008, a historian with whom she also had a relationship brutally beat her. Then the matter did not reach the court: according to the girl, due to the fact that she “had no strength and opportunity” to sue.
This story became public after a video appeared in March 2018 in which a student in a lecture asks a question to the associate professor of St. Petersburg State University about the conflict with Moscow journalist Yevgeny Ponasenkov, who accused Sokolov of plagiarism. In the video, Sokolov tells the student: “Get out of here,” after which he is pushed out of the lecture. The St. Petersburg State University Commission reported that the published video was mounted, but admitted that Oleg Sokolov "committed a violation of ethical standards of relations with students." After this article, several media published about Sokolov’s strange behavior, in particular, the story of the beating of a student in 2008 was told in detail by Moskovsky Komsomolets.
Already after the assassination of Anastasia Yeshchenko, one of the students of Sokolov said that he also wrote a letter to St. Petersburg State University with a request to remove the assistant professor from teaching, because he "periodically behaved inappropriately." These complaints had no consequences for Sokolov.