Russian historian arrested after womans arms found in his backpack

Professor tries to drown severed female hands in Moika River

Professor tries to drown severed female hands in Moika River

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.

Historian had planned to commit suicide but fell into frigid river as he tried to dispose of body parts.

Multiple reports say the academic is in detention in hospital suffering from hypothermia.

Sokolov was awarded the Order of Legion d'Honneur, France's highest civilian decoration, in 2003 by France's then-President Jacques Chirac for his studies on Napoleon.

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

The historian, who also taught at Sorbonne University, is the author of books on French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

In another development, while search and rescue teams dove into the Moika river in an attempt to retrieve Yeshchenko's body parts, another body was found and a separate criminal investigation has been opened.

Students at the university have since described Sokolov as a "freak", stating he would often do impression of Napoleon and would call his lover "Josephine".

On Thursday, Sokolov allegedly killed his purported lover in an act of jealous rage, according to unconfirmed claims, cited by the media.

(FILE) - Members of military history clubs wearing 1812-era Russian military-style uniforms march take part in a historical festival to mark the 180th anniversary of the Moscow Triumphal Gates in St. Petersburg, Russia, on October 13, 2018.

Both the professor and his deceased lover studied French history and co-authored a number of works.

His former student, Fyodor Danilov, said Sokolov was regarded as one of the university's best lecturers but an eccentric man who at times yelled in French.

The organisation immediately sought to distance itself from the controversy.

Sokolov was also a member of France's Institute of Social Science, Economics and Politics (ISSEP), but on Saturday the society announced in a statement that he had been stripped of his position on its scientific committee.

According to police statements, Sokolov said he killed Yeshchenko after the pair had got into a fight.

ISSEP was founded by Marine Le Pen's niece, Marion Marechal.