Recently, the media again started talking about the historian Oleg Sokolov, who killed and dismembered his beloved and graduate student Anastasia Yeshchenko in November last year. The world shuddered at the wild news, which is understandable, because Sokolov belonged to the Russian scientific "get-together", he was invited to programs and forums, and the reenactors of the Napoleonic wars called him nothing but a sire. Meanwhile, people are often killed and dismembered. Only marginals do it, as a rule, and not docents. But both of them often have similar psychology. Let's figure out which one.
At the end of May, a documentary film about Sokolov was released - “Invitation to the Ball. Victims of Russian Napoleon”, which can be viewed here. Another victim of "Napoleon" appears in the film for the first time - Ekaterina Ivanova, who specially flew from the aufblasbares zelt of another country to tell about what the once respected historian was doing to her. We will try to reveal his personality from a psychological point of view. The conclusions drawn are based on the opinion of the clinical psychologist - the author of this article.
Favorite of the public
But first, let's turn to the facts and, using the example of Oleg Sokolov, we will understand the psychology of criminals of this type. How did the world know him before the ill-fated night of November 8, 2019? Candidate of Historical Sciences, specialist in military history of France, popularizer of science, Knight of the French Order of the Legion of Honor, visiting professor at the Sorbonne, consultant on historical films of the Napoleonic era, member of the scientific council of the Russian Military Historical Society, creator of the USSR's first group of military-historical reconstruction of the Napoleonic wars, one of the founders of the reconstruction of the battles of the Napoleonic era in Russia, a brilliant orator and charismatic teacher.
Sokolov was a regular guest at Goblin's Dead End, gave interviews and became the "star" of the "Scientists Against Myths-6" forum held in St. dispelling the myth that the guys in armor could not get up without help. After watching the performance, you can see that Sokolov is behaving rather arrogantly and in general somehow strange, and his performance looks more like a circus than a scientific (albeit entertaining) show, but the audience is delighted and applauded. After all, artistry Sokolov does not hold.
For this he was loved by students, especially girls. And he answered them in return. One can blame SPbU for a long time that there are “strange” relations between teachers and students, compare our education system with Western ones, where after a teacher drank coffee with a student, he is immediately threatened with dismissal. But this is not about that, but about the very figure of Sokolov.
To begin with, we will describe the portrait of the "Russian Napoleon". The first thing that catches your eye is charm, artistry and charisma, which naturally attract attention and gain favor. The second, which is also quite perceptible for an observant person, is Sokolov's arrogance and arrogance, his narcissism.These seemingly negative qualities often unconsciously attract those who have problems with their own self-esteem (remember men who choose "cold" and arrogant "beauties" or women of the same kind).
Such people are very good at "pecking" at the inflated conceit of another - by joining this other, they themselves begin to feel a little more "more", more significant ("if I am next to a woman to whom everyone pays attention, I am something I stand in this life "," if I am next to a man who behaves like an alpha male, I am better than other women ").
By the way, advertising campaigns with the participation of celebrities are based on this principle. Buying the same perfume, razor or tights as the "star", an ordinary person, as it were, rises a little above himself and no longer experiences his own complexes so acutely (even if he does not think about them - he can experience them unconsciously, such feelings go as a kind of "background" to his whole life). This is another answer to the question why Sokolov had so many "fans", because adequate self-esteem is a rather rare occurrence.
Another reason for popularity is publicity: the entire university knew the associate professor, a lot of students passed through him, who, like him, were fascinated by the history of France, he gave interviews and starred in videos, so he was familiar to the Internet audience. He led the movement of reenactors, that is, a large number of people knew him and, of course, saw him as their idol. And the idol, as you know, is forgiven a lot. His students admit that he spoke about his subject with such passion that it turned into a real show.
However, not everyone was enchanted. Someone called him very strange (one of his students told us that Sokolov read his lectures literally with foam at the mouth, dancing and waving his arms), and someone - not even a professional (this, of course, is not about his polemic with Evgeny Ponasenkov). For imperialism, bias and even allegedly copying text from the French Wikipedia. But the voices of the critics were either too loud and with a clear pseudoscientific smell, or too quiet. Here, by the way, you can read a rather curious review of the work of the "honored" historian.
Reincarnation of Napoleon
Sokolov's inflated self-esteem was expressed even in the fact that he was named Napoleon and was called a sire, but he did not mind. Not to mention the fact that this is exactly how he behaved, for sure, imagining himself a French commander during the reenactment battles. Such nicknames are not only about the fact that he studied the activities of Bonaparte, but also about the fact that he was clearly impressed by the figure of a small and nondescript-looking (probably having an inferiority complex), but such a ruthless warrior. He seemed to “see” himself in him: the same “small” inside, but so “grandiose” outside.
The same former student of the historian told us that he allegedly confessed to the reenactors that he "remembered" French at the age of four, and when he was at Napoleon's grave, it seemed to him that he was lying there. That is, Sokolov clearly identified himself with the commander and strove to be like him. In addition to his charm, Sokolov has a very lively character - some passions always raged in him.
He seemed fearless to those who live here and now, without looking back at the past and without doubts about the future. He seemed to be constantly in need of some kind of mental stimulation. There was no "boring" prudence in him - only decisiveness, impulsiveness and self-confidence, which many women, especially Russians, love so much. Add to that the ability to dress well.
Those who knew him speak of his impeccable taste, not only in terms of costume, but also in terms of perfumery and other things. Even at the aforementioned Scientists vs. Myth-6 forum, he was one of the few speakers who did not wear the traditional T-shirt with the forum logo - he was wearing an elegant jacket and red tie. This is definitely a person with charm.But this is the wrapper that the historian demonstrated to the general public. What do those who knew him better say about him?
Control, jealousy and submission
In the documentary “Invitation to the Ball. Victims of Russian Napoleon”, for the first time, another beloved of the historian appears - Ekaterina Ivanova, the same one who once wrote a statement against him to the police for beatings and threats with a red-hot iron. She reports that Sokolov was a man who loved to control his women. It applied to everything.
“If he chooses a person, he does not let him go. He really sees victimization in the girl, he sees how the girl is notorious, - says Ekaterina in her interview to the family lawyer Anastasia Yeshchenko. - I never considered myself a beauty (from the words of Nastya's mother, she was also sure that she was ugly, - NS) … Yes, of course, he was the initiator (of the relationship, - NS), like a spider that weaves its web. He has a victim, and he gradually captures it and eats it. He immediately begins to impose his tastes on you. I remember I had red shoes …
He likes pointed pumps a la 1960s, he doesn't like other shoes. If you look at Nastya's photographs, then all her dresses are a la 1960s, this is absolutely Sokolov's taste. And at first he politely asks, then demands that you dress the way he likes … Yes, of course (to the lawyer's question, did he try to control Ekaterina Sokolov - NS): where are you, who are you with, why are you not at home?
Everything turns into isolation. For example, he did not want me to communicate with my girlfriends, he believed that they had a bad influence on me. While I was communicating with him, I not only abandoned all my friends, ruined my relationship with my family, but also practically abandoned all my hobbies that I had before. " According to the mother of the murdered Anastasia, she also stopped communicating with her old friends and acquaintances. On the face - pathological jealousy and a desire to subjugate another person.
He also did not tolerate any opposition, wanted absolutely everything to be the way he wants the whole world to revolve around his person, so that only his interests are satisfied in the relationship. All this is very typical for abuser.
It is interesting that Ekaterina admits that Sokolov not only did not support her, but, on the contrary, tried to get something from her herself: “He gladly accepted expensive gifts from me, I paid for our dinners, I paid for my trips … This did not make him indignant. Once I said that my winter boots were worn out and I needed to buy them. He got in touch with me, and in order to buy shoes for me, we bought him with my money."
The media also spoke about the lack of money and serious connections when they found out that Sokolov did not even have the funds for a lawyer. There is evidence that he was far from a wealthy man. Therefore, the arguments that the girls lived with the "old man" for the sake of money are hardly sound. Nastya's mother says that she slept in a separate room at the entrance, where there was only a bed and a chest of drawers, so there is no need to talk about some luxurious living conditions either. And judging by her speech in the last, dying video, the historian did not indulge her with gifts either.
It turns out that Sokolov not only did not provide for his victims, but even tended to live at their expense. And this applies not only to a one-time purchase of shoes or receiving expensive gifts from girls. This is evidenced by how his victims did routine work for him, for which "Napoleon" did not want to undertake. Not for this, in fact, he was born: his task is to shine, the task of assistants is to remain in the shadows.
The partners of such men are, as a rule, not calculating women, but insecure, “correct”, hardworking, sacrificial and often very smart and capable girls, devoid of even healthy selfishness, which, apparently, was the murdered woman.Mother of the murdered woman: “When we got to talking, I told Nastya: can you imagine, he is 60 years old - in 10 years he will be 70. He will be an old man, sick, who may need medical help.
If you have a child, he will not even be able to help you raise this child. She said: so what, I'm strong. I have enough for everyone, I can do everything. I can take out the pots, provide medical care, and I can roller-skate with my son. I can do everything myself."
Attitude towards the weak and the "dark" past
There are many testimonies of how a once respected historian treated, for example, animals, how he mercilessly beat horses during the performances of reenactors. And he didn't just beat - sometimes he killed. After the incident, the media quoted a close friend of the “Russian Napoleon”, Jean-Pierre, who said: “From time to time he had fits of insanity when he was on the battlefields (…). One day a horse died from his cruelty. I think he drank a lot of alcohol."
The topic of alcohol was, in fact, close to the "eminent" historian, this is reported by many of those who knew him. Experienced psychiatrists also “read” this by his appearance: a flabby face, stomach, sagging lower lip. Therefore, alcohol certainly played a big role in aggravating the "symptomatology" of the assistant professor.
But Sokolov, it seems, did not differ in special reverence for the letter of the law before. Paradoxical as it may seem for a professor at the Sorbonne. So, according to media reports, on March 1, 1982, the Sestroretsk District Court of the city of Leningrad passed a sentence that found Sokolov guilty of certain crimes that resulted in the death of people as a result of the sinking of the frigate St. George. He is also accused of illegal possession of weapons.
And here we finally come to the main thing - the reasons that pushed the historian to a terrible step. Based on what we have found out about him, we can say with a high degree of confidence that such people have psychopathic traits. This can be called simply hysterical psychopathy. Such people are distinguished by increased impulsiveness, enormous conceit, superficial charm and charm, pathological deceit (remember, Sokolov's "repentance" at the trial and many inconsistencies in his testimony).
And also - a tendency to fraudulent and illegal actions, a parasitic lifestyle, a lack of guilt and remorse, repeated marriage and change of sexual partners (this was also written a lot by the media), sexual promiscuity, the need for constant mental excitement, irascibility, uncontrollable outbreaks anger and irresponsibility.
But the main, distinctive feature of a psychopath is the lack of empathy, empathy (at the same time, such people are subtle psychologists and often good artists, they can very accurately mimic the desired emotion and be able to show it in such a way that non-specialists will not think of a lie). All these qualities, as we can see, are fully possessed by our "hero".
However, it is worth making a reservation right away - there is no such diagnosis as psychopathy today. It is understood as a complex of various psychological disorders. However, the term is still used in "slang" by both psychologists and psychiatrists. And the traits of a "psychopath" remain unchanged, regardless of what kind of violation we are dealing with.
At the same time, psychopaths are not a psychiatric diagnosis, but rather personality “features”. Such people can by no means be called mentally ill: they are perfectly aware of what they are doing, their mind is not damaged in any way, only the "moral" side of their personality is damaged, they are called that - "morally insane". Therefore, they, as a rule, commit crimes while in a sane state. And, by the way, according to various experts, it is psychopaths that make up the main "backbone" of prisoners in prisons. So Sokolov in this sense is no different from the others, except for his "deservedness" and fame.
The term "psychopath" is often used in everyday life, implying a nervous, "psychotic" person. In fact, this is not at all the case. Very often, a psychopath, on the contrary, makes an extremely pleasant impression on those around him: he is charming, well dressed, knows how to present himself, and looks after women beautifully. His personality is fully "revealed" only in the circle of people very close to him, and the main feature is not even an explosive character, but a lack of empathy and affection, emotional coldness towards others, even the closest people.
Why do we need to know what psychological characteristics Sokolov has? Because there are many such people. According to official statistics, there are about one percent of them, but they mean clinical psychopaths, but there are probably much more people with pronounced psychopathic traits (for example, they are possessed by all abusers - those who can raise a hand against a woman or old people) … Perhaps there are such people among your acquaintances. And in Western countries, they tend to undergo compulsory psychotherapy. In Russia, alas, there is no such practice yet, which means that there is no prevention of domestic murders either.