Russian historian pulled from St Petersburg river with backpack containing woman's severed arms

Ellen Manning
Oleg Sokolov (R), president of the military-historical association of Russia who is dressed as French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, welcomes members of the Krasnoyarsk society of fans of the military history sporting the uniforms of French naval gunners during a show in a park in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, April 10, 2005. The members of the clubs from major Siberian cities - Krasnoyarsk, [Novosibirsk, Tomsk and Irkutsk], took part on Sunday in the first Siberian regional festival of clubs of military-historical reconstruction.
Russian historian Oleg Sokolov has been arrested after he was found in a river with a backpack containing a woman's arms (Picture: Reuters)

A Russian historian has been arrested on suspicion of murder after he was found in a river with a backpack containing a woman’s severed arms.

Oleg Sokolov, an expert on Napoleon, was rescued from the Moyka River in St Petersburg in the early hours of Saturday morning along with the backpack.

Police then went to his home in an apartment block on the bank of the river where they found the decapitated body of a 24-year-old former student, believed to be Anastasia Yeshchenko, and a blood-covered saw.

ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA  NOVEMBER 9, 2019: Search and rescue worker in the Moika River by an apartment block where St Petersburg State University professor, historian Oleg Sokolov, suspected of murdering a student, lives. Earlier this morning, Sokolov was rescued from a river with two severed female arms and a gun found in his backpack. Alexander Demianchuk/TASS (Photo by Alexander Demianchuk\TASS via Getty Images)
The Russian historian was found with a backpack containing two severed female arms and a gun (Picture: Alexander Demianchuk\TASS via Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA  NOVEMBER 9, 2019: Search and rescue workers in the Moika River by an apartment block where St Petersburg State University professor, historian Oleg Sokolov, suspected of murdering a student, lives. Earlier this morning, Sokolov was rescued from a river with two severed female arms and a gun found in his backpack. Alexander Demianchuk/TASS (Photo by Alexander Demianchuk\TASS via Getty Images)
Prof Sokolov was pulled from the river in the early hours of Saturday (Picture: Alexander Demianchuk\TASS via Getty Images)

It is thought that Prof Sokolov was drunk and fell into the river as he tried to dispose of the severed limbs.

He has reportedly been detained in hospital where he is being treated for hypothermia.

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According to reports, Ms Yeschenko - who had co-written several works with Prof Sokolov - had been in a relationship with the 63-year-old.

But the historian reportedly confessed to killing his lover ‘accidentally’ following an argument.

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