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Prof questioned after severed arms found in backpack

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Police later found the body of his student in his apartment

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 on 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 reports said. Sokolov was hospitalised on Saturday for hypothermia but was taken to a police station on Sunday for questioning.

Reports also said that Sokolov had been awarded France’s Legion of Honour for his work. – AP