Russian professor questioned after severed arms found in backpack

A picture taken on January 7, 2014, shows Paris Sorbonne University's professor Oleg Sokolov giving orders to his troops during a reenactment of the 1812 war in Saint Petersburg. - Police in Saint Petersburg on November 9, 2019, arrested a prominent Russian historian on suspicion of murdering a former student after he was hauled out of a river with a backpack containing a woman's arms, authorities said. Local media in Saint Petersburg reported that university professor Oleg Sokolov was drunk and fell into the river as he tried to dispose of body parts. Police reportedly then went to Sokolov's home where they discovered the decapitated body of Anastasia Yeshchenko, 24, with whom he had co-authored a number of works. (Photo by OLGA MALTSEVA / AFP) (Photo by OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP via Getty Images)

MOSCOW β€” Police in the Russian city of St. Petersburg plan to interrogate a prominent professor who has been detained on suspicion of killing a female student after he was pulled from a frigid river with a backpack containing severed arms.

Oleg Sokolov, a history professor at St. Petersburg State University who is an expert in French revolutionary military history, was found Saturday in the Moika River with the rucksack. Police later found the body of his student in his apartment, Russian news reports said.

Lawyer Alexander Pochuev said Sokolov has signed a statement of guilt, the Russian media reports said. Sokolov was hospitalized Saturday for hypothermia but was taken to a police station Sunday for questioning.

Reports said Sokolov had been awarded France’s Legion of Honor for his work.

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