Oleg Sokolov

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Oleg Sokolov
2018-02-11 Oleg Sokolov Оле́г Вале́рьевич Соколо́в 02.jpg
Sokolov speaking at the 2018 Scientists Against Myths forum in Saint Petersburg
Born (1956-07-09) 9 July 1956 (age 63)
Alma materLeningrad Polytechnic Institute
Leningrad State University
Known forNapoleonic historian
AwardsLegion of Honour (Chevalier)
Scientific career
FieldsFrench history
InstitutionsSaint Petersburg State University
ThesisThe Officer Corps of the French Army Under the Ancien Régime and During the Revolution of 1789–1799 (1991)
Doctoral advisorVladimir Revunenkov

Oleg Valeryevich Sokolov (Russian: Оле́г Вале́рьевич Соколо́в) is a Russian historian of the Napoleonic era.[1][2] He is a Candidate of Historical Sciences and was a Docent of the Department of Modern History, Faculty of History of Saint Petersburg State University. His scientific and social activities were acknowledged by the Legion of Honour (Chevalier) in 2003.[3][4][5] As of November 2019 he is a suspect in a murder investigation.


Sokolov and historical reenactors in armor of medieval knights at the 6th scientific and educational forum Scientists Against Myths in Saint Petersburg, 2018

Oleg Sokolov was born on 9 July 1956 in Leningrad (present-day Saint Petersburg), Russian SFSR, Soviet Union.[6]

In 1979, he graduated with a specialist degree in physics and engineering from the Faculty of Physics and Mechanics of the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute.

In 1984, he graduated with honors from the Department of Modern and Contemporary History, Faculty of History of Leningrad State University.

In 1991, under the supervision of Professor Vladimir Revunenkov, a Doctor of Historical Sciences, he defended his dissertation at St. Petersburg State University for the degree of Candidate of Historical Sciences on the topic of The Officer Corps of the French Army Under the Ancien Régime and During the Revolution of 1789–1799 (speciality 07.00.03 – general history). The official opponents were Professor David Pritzker, a Doctor of Historical Sciences, and researcher at the Leningrad Branch of the Institute of History of the USSR Sergey Iskyul, a Candidate of Historical Sciences. The external review was conducted by the Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia.[7]

Since 2000, he had been a Docent of the Department of Modern History, Faculty of History of St. Petersburg State University.

He is the author of a number of works on the military history of Europe of the 17th–early 19th centuries. In 1999, he published a major study, Napoleon's Army, which was translated into French in 2003. In 2006, he published the two-volume monograph Austerlitz. Napoleon, Russia and Europe, 1799–1805, a study of the premises and course of Napoleon's first war against the anti-French coalition. He translated into Russian and supplemented with extensive commentary Memoirs of the Napoleonic Wars 1802–1815 (French: Souvenirs militaires d'Octave Levavasseur : officer d'artillerie, aide de camp du Maréchal Ney (1802–1815)) by French officer Octave Levavasseur, who took part in all military campaigns (except for the Russian campaign of 1812) by Napoleon Bonaparte.[8]

He was a prominent figure in Russian historical reenactment. In 1976, he founded the first reenactment group of the Napoleonic era. In February 1989, the Federation of Military History Clubs of the USSR was created and Sokolov became its president. In subsequent years, Sokolov continued to lead the association of clubs involved in reenactment (Military-Historical Association of Russia (1996), All-Russian Military-Historical Social Movement (2006)).[9].

Arrest for murder[edit]

On 9 November 2019, Sokolov was detained on suspicion of the murder of Anastasia Yeshchenko, his 24-year-old lover, his graduate student at St. Petersburg State University and his co-author of scholarly works.[1][10][11] There is an ongoing investigation by the Investigative Committee of Russia.[12][13][14] On 11 November Sokolov was charged with wilful murder (article 105 of the Criminal Code)[15] and was arrested for two months until 8 January 2020 with the detention in the Kresty Prison.[16][17][18] On 13 November defense lawyer said that Sokolov gave full testimony on the case (he had previously refused to do so, referring to the 51st article[a] of the Constitution of the Russian Federation).[19][20]

According to the investigation, Sokolov was found in the Moyka River in Saint Petersburg with a backpack containing the woman's arms[1][5][21][22] and a weapon.[23] Local media claims he was drunk and fell into the river as he tried to dispose of body parts.[21] Police found the parts of humans body in his home, but the package with the victim’s torso was not caught from the river until 11 November.[24] He has admitted guilt[22] and is willing to cooperate in the investigation.[1] According to Sokolov's defense lawyer, his client filed a confession, but the defense team does not intend to exclude the version of self-incrimination.[25] In addition, his lawyer noted that Sokolov was assigned a psychiatric examination.[25] As Sokolov himself stated during a meeting of the Oktyabrsky District Court of St. Petersburg, the crime was committed on the basis of a personal conflict, because, according to him, Yeshchenko had “recently a terrible reaction to my children” and “she started to freak at their mention” and then they both “lost control” during a quarrel and then “she attacked me with a knife”.[26][16][17][18] At the same time, according to the local media, the young woman was killed in her sleep by a shot in the head. Then three more shots followed, also in the head.[27]

He is said to have planned to get rid of the body before publicly committing suicide dressed as Napoleon[1][21][22][23][28] at the Peter and Paul Fortress.[29]

The representative of the Investigative Committee also promised to verify Sokolov's involvement in the beating of another woman. In 2018, the Moskovskij Komsomolets newspaper published an article in which Sokolov's student accused the lecturer of brutal beating in 2008.[30]

Soon after reports of his detention, the Russian Military Historical Society (RMHS), chaired by Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky, removed from its website all mention of Oleg Sokolov, who formerly was a member of its scientific council, and the adviser to the RMHS chairman announced that she had heard his name for the first time.[31] French Institute of Social Science, Economics and Politics (ISSEP), founded by Marion Maréchal, the niece of Marine Le Pen, had removed him from his position on its scientific committee on Saturday (November 9th).[1]

He was subsequently dismissed from his post at Saint Petersburg State University[32]



in Russian
in French
in Polish
  • Sokołow, O. (2014). Armia Napoleona. Oświęcim: Napoleon V.
  • Sokołow, O. (2014). Austerlitz Śmiertelne zmagania Francji z Europą i Rosją. Oświęcim: Napoleon V.
  • Sokołow, O. (2016). Napoleon, Aleksander i Europa 1806–1812. Oświęcim: Napoleon V.


in Russian
  • Соколов О. В. Высшие офицеры французской армии и революционное правительство в 1792—1794 гг. // От Старого порядка к Революции / под ред. проф. В. Г. Ревуненкова. — Л., 1988.
  • Соколов О. В. Ульмская операция 1805 года // Орел. — 1993. — № 1, 2, 3.
  • Соколов О. В. Офицеры короля // Империя истории. — 2001. — № 1.
  • Соколов О. В. Генерал Антуан-Анри Жомини и его роль в развитии российской военной науки // Швейцарцы в Петербурге. — СПб, 2002.
  • Соколов О. В. Испания в огне. Сомо-Сьерра // Империя истории. — 2002. — № 2.
  • Соколов О. В. Рыцарство как элита средневекового общества // Империя истории. — 2002. — № 2.
  • Соколов О. В. Час отваги и мужества. Битва при Никополе // Империя истории. — 2002. — № 2.
  • Соколов О. В. Испания в огне. Погоня за Муром // Империя истории. — 2002. — № 3.
  • Соколов О. В. Дух армии Наполеона // Империя истории. — 2002. — № 3.
  • Соколов О. В. Французская армия и переворот 18 брюмера // Наполеон. Легенда и реальность. Материалы научных конференций и наполеоновских чтений. 1996—1998 / Сост. А. Васильев, Г. Л. Медынцева. — СПб.: Минувшее, 2003. — 444 с. — 500 экз. — ISBN 5-902073-16-2.
  • Соколов О. В. Начало Польской кампании или должны ли французы умирать за Польшу? // Империя истории. — 2006. — № 4.
  • Соколов О. В. Рокруа — триумф юной отваги // Империя истории. — 2006. — № 4.
  • Соколов О. В. Записки генерала В. И. Левенштерна", Подготовка текста, вступительная статья и комментарии // Труды кафедры истории Нового и новейшего времени. 2013. № 10 / Сост. Т. Н. Гончарова. — СПб, 2013. — С. 120—150
  • Соколов О. В. Поляки на службе Наполеона в сражении на Березине, 28 ноября 1812 г. // Desperta Ferro (Madrid), 2013 г.
  • Соколов О. В. Русско-французские отношения накануне войны 1805 г. // Труды кафедры истории Нового и новейшего времени. 2013. № 11. / Сост. Т. Н. Гончарова. — СПб., 2013. С. 67—84
  • Соколов О. В. Вступление // к монографии А. Королёва: «По следам Великой армии Наполеона»
  • Соколов О. В. Военно-политическая обстановка во время подписания Тильзитского мира и реакция на договор в свете синхронных источников // Вестник СПбГУ. Серия 2. — 2015. — Выпуск 1. — С. 35—46
  • Соколов О. В. Итальянская армия Бонапарта накануне похода 1796 г. // Труды кафедры Новой и Новейшей истории. — 2015. — № 15. — С. 50—67
in French
  • Sokolov O. V. Le regiment Pavlovski en 1811 // Tradition Magazine. № 52, 1991.
  • Sokolov O. V. La campagne de Russie. Les origines du conflit // Napoléon Ier. № 5, 2001.
  • Sokolov O. V. La campagne de Russie. L’offensive de Napoléon, de Vilna a Witebsk // Napoléon Ier. № 6, 2001.
  • Sokolov O. V. La campagne de Russie. La bataille de Smolensk // Napoleon Ier. № 7, 2001.
  • Sokolov O. V. La campagne de Russie. La Moskowa // Napoléon Ier. № 8, 2001.
  • Sokolov O. V. La campagne de Russie. De Moscou a Viazma // Napoléon Ier. № 9, 2001.
  • Sokolov O. V. La campagne de Russie. Berezina // Napoléon Ier. № 10, 2001.
  • Sokolov O. V. 1805 — Napoleon marche vers Austerlitz (1). Wertingen — Haslach — Elchingen // Revue de l'histoire napoléonienne. № 3, 2005.
  • Sokolov O. V. 1805 — Napoleon marche vers Austerlitz (2). Amstetten — Durrenstein — Hollabrunn // Revue de l'histoire napoléonienne, № 6, 2006.
  • Sokolov O. V. Austerlitz 1805. Le plan de Napoléon — la bataille d’Austerlitz — le bilan // Revue de l'histoire napoléonienne. № 27, 2009.
  • Sokolov O. V. «Los Polacos en el Berezina» // Historia militar y política del mundo moderno, siglos XVI—XIX. Desperta Ferro, Madrid, 2014, № 8, р. 46—53.


  • Levavasseur, Octave (2014). Воспоминания о наполеоновских войнах 1802—1815 [Memoirs of the Napoleonic Wars 1802–1815] (in Russian). Translated by Sokolov, O. V. Saint Petersburg: Eurasia. ISBN 978-5-906518-16-3.


Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ «1. No one shall be obliged to give evidence incriminating themselves, a husband or wife or close relatives the range of whom is determined by federal law.»


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Russia professor admits murder after woman's arms found in bag". BBC News. 10 November 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  2. ^ "Russian professor found with woman's arms admits murder". The Guardian. 10 November 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  3. ^ Bondarenko, Aleksandr (14 November 2003). "Ура, chevalier Соколов!" [Hooray, chevalier Sokolov!]. Krasnaya Zvezda (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  4. ^ Sokolov, Oleg (30 December 2003). "Свой среди чужих... Российский историк — кавалер Ордена Почетного легиона" [A friend among strangers... Russian historian – Knight of the Legion of Honour]. Sankt-Peterburgskiy Universitet (Interview) (in Russian) (30). Interviewed by Igor Makarov. ISSN 1681-1941.
  5. ^ a b "Politie vindt onthoofd lichaam nadat Russische hoogleraar twee armen probeert te dumpen in rivier". Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch). 10 November 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  6. ^ "Соколов Олег Валерьевич" (in Russian). Institute of History of Saint Petersburg State University. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  7. ^ Sokolov, Oleg (1991). Офицерский корпус французской армии при старом порядке и в период революции 1789—1799 [The Officer Corps of the French Army Under the Ancien Régime and During the Revolution of 1789–1799] (Abstract of Candidate of Historical Sciences thesis) (in Russian). Saint Petersburg: Saint Petersburg State University. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  8. ^ Alexandrov, Nikolay (11 March 2014). "Октава Левавассёра. Воспоминания о наполеоновских войнах 1802-1815. – СПб.: Евразия, 2014. – 384 с." [Octave Levavasseur's. Memories of the Napoleonic Wars 1802–1815. – St. Petersburg: Eurasia, 2014. – 384 pp.]. Knizhechki (in Russian). Echo of Moscow. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  9. ^ Битва русской и французской армий в центре Петербурга. SPbGU. 2014-02-21. Archived from the original on 2019-11-11.
  10. ^ "Что известно о задержании историка Соколова по подозрению в убийстве" [What is known about the detention of historian Sokolov on suspicion of murder]. TASS (in Russian). 10 November 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  11. ^ "Russische hoogleraar dronken uit rivier gevist met vrouwenarmen in tas" (in Dutch). RTL Nieuws. 10 November 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  12. ^ "Дело историка Олега Соколова" [Case of historian Oleg Sokolov]. TASS (in Russian).
  13. ^ Убийство девушки доцентом СПбГУ // Интерфакс
  14. ^ "СК опубликовал оперативное видео из дела историка Соколова". TASS. 11 November 2019.
  15. ^ Доценту Соколову предъявлено обвинение в умышленном убийстве аспирантки // Интерфакс, 11.11.2019
  16. ^ a b "Историк Соколов в суде признался в убийстве выпускницы СПбГУ". ТАSS. 11 November 2019.
  17. ^ a b Доцент Соколов назвал убитую им девушку "чудовищем", напавшим на него с ножом // Интерфакс, 11.11.2019
  18. ^ a b Исторический суд. Доцента Соколова арестовали в Петербурге. Онлайн // Фонтанка.ру, 11.11.2019
  19. ^ Доцент Соколов перестал прикрываться конституцией и упростил следователям работу.
  20. ^ "Обвиняемый в убийстве историк Соколов дал следствию полные показания". TASS.
  21. ^ a b c "Hoogleraar dronken uit rivier gevist met vrouwenarmen in rugzak". De Telegraaf (in Dutch). 2019-11-10. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  22. ^ a b c "Russian professor found in river with woman's arms in bag". The Irish Times. 10 November 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  23. ^ a b Waterdrinker, Pieter (10 November 2019). "Hoogleraar dreigde eerder al studente te verminken". De Telegraaf (in Dutch). Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  24. ^ "В реке в Петербурге нашли пакет с останками жертвы историка Соколова". TASS.
  25. ^ a b "У преподавателя СПбГУ нашли сумку с отрезанными женскими руками. Что об этом известно" (in Russian). BBC Russian Service. 9 November 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  26. ^ "Что известно о задержании историка Соколова по подозрению в убийстве". TASS. 2019-11-10. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  27. ^ Возлюбленную доцента Соколова застрелили во сне
  28. ^ Tenbarge, Kat (10 November 2019). "A Russian Napoleon expert was caught with arms in a bag and admitted to murdering his lover and former student". Insider. Retrieved 2019-11-10.
  29. ^ Englund, Will (10 November 2019). "Russia's greatest Napoleonic reenactor was found drunk in a river with the severed arms of his lover in his backpack". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-11-11.
  30. ^ "Историка Соколова проверят на причастность к избиению другой студентки". Interfax. 9 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  31. ^ Gunkel, Elena (9 November 2019). "С сайта РВИО исчезло имя совершившего убийство Олега Соколова" (in Russian). Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  32. ^ "Russian historian found with body parts accused of murder". BBC News.

External links[edit]