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Divers found remnants of unknown person when searching for alleged victim in St Petersburg

The source said, that the issue of opening one more criminal case to be decided

ST. PETERSBURG, November 9. /TASS/. Divers engaged in searches for the remains of an alleged victim of Oleg Sokolov, a historian and battle reenactor detained in St. Petersburg on Saturday on suspicion of murder, found remains of another unknown person in the Moika River, the St. Petersburg Search and Rescue Service told TASS.

"Other remains were found but not of the girl searched for," the source said. Divers will continue searching on Sunday.

Bones of an unknown person were found in the river, a source in investigative authorities told TASS. "The issue of opening one more criminal case to be decided," the source noted. The issue of opening the second criminal case pertains to the fact of discovery and not to the historian, he added.

The St. Petersburg’s investigative department of Russia’s Investigative Committee said that Oleg Sokolov was detained on suspicions of committing murder. He was rescued from a river in the city on Saturday morning. Human remains, or two female arms, and a traumatic pistol were found in his backpack. St. Petersburg investigators set up a criminal inquiry under Article 105 Part 1 of Russia’s Criminal Code (murder).

According to law enforcement sources, Sokolov’s alleged victim might be his postgraduate student called Anastasia Eshchenko. The young woman was said to have been his co-author in joint scientific works and could have had an intimate relationship with Sokolov.

Oleg Sokolov, PhD in History Candidate, was born in 1956 in Leningrad. He is an associate professor at the New and Modern History Department of St. Petersburg State University. Sokolov has authored a series of monographs on the Napoleon-ruled French military and the personality of Napoleon Bonaparte, according to the information on the university website. In 2003, then French President Jacques Chirac signed a decree awarding Sokolov the Order of Legion d'Honneur, France’s highest decoration, for his studies and enormous contribution to popularization of the history of France and its army.

In 1976, Sokolov founded the first group of battle reenactors in the Soviet Union, which laid the foundation for contemporary historical reenactment in Russia. The Russian Military History Movement, which unites military history clubs in 52 Russian regions, was founded in 2006 under Sokolov’s leadership.