Russian historian imprisoned pending trial for grisly murder

A Russian historian who confessed to murdering and dismembering his ex-student lover was put in pre-trial detention on Monday as calls grew for an investigation into his alleged abuse of women students.

Oleg Sokolov, a prominent expert on Napoleon, was hauled out of the icy Moika River on Saturday with a backpack containing a woman’s arms.

A court in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg ruled on Monday that he should be held in prison for two months ahead of the trial over the murder of his 24-year-old girlfriend and former student Anastasia Yeshchenko.

Sokolov, a professor at prestigious Saint Petersburg State University, has confessed to killing Yeshchenko and dismembering her body, and was formally charged Monday evening.

“I am devastated by what has happened, I repent,” Sokolov said in court.

Pale and unshaven, the 63-year-old broke down in tears in the glass defendant’s enclosure, covering his face with his hands.

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