Arrest, generic
Photo for illustrative purposes Image Credit: Pixabay

Saint Petersburg: Police in Saint Petersburg on Saturday 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.

"A 63-year-old man was rescued from the River Moika," investigators said in statement.

The arms of a woman were discovered in his backpack, the statement said, adding that the detained man was suspected of murder.

Investigators did not name the man but police speaking to AFP identified him as Sokolov.

The historian, who received France's Legion of Honneur in 2003, is the author of books on French statesman and military leader Napoleon Bonaparte and had acted as a historical consultant on several films.