Anatoly Moskvin, a historian and journalist has been dubbed the Russian grave-robber after 29 female bodies that he dressed up as dolls were found at his apartment.
Anatoly Moskvin, 45, is said to speak 13 languages and has been described as a “genius”.
According to Ministry of Interior spokesman Valery Gribakin, Anatoly Moskvin from the Volga River city of Nizhny Novgorod dug up the bodies at several cemeteries in the region.
Anatoly Moskvin, whose identity was withheld by police but exposed by local media, dressed them in clothes dug up from the graves.
Valery Gribakin said that the suspect is a historian who has authored several books.
The spokesman said the arrest followed a police probe into the desecration of graves in the region, which was initially blamed on extremist groups.
Nizhny Novgorod is located about 250 miles (400 kilometres) east of Moscow.
Russian media reports quoted police as saying that Anatoly Moskvin only had selected the remains of young women for his grisly collection.
Anatoly Moskvin is said to have dug up the corpses from hundreds of cemeteries and took them to his small, three-bedroom flat in Nizhny Novgorod, according to local media.
The suspect was said to have carried the “dried up” remains of at least 29 women – all aged between 15 and 26 – in plastic bags.
At his apartment, Anatoly Moskvin apparently dressed the bodies and skeletons in stockings and dresses, and even made one look like a teddy bear. All had died years earlier.
Anatoly Moskvin’s ghastly obsession was uncovered when his parents visited him in the town around 200 miles east of Moscow after returning from a holiday.
Anatoly Moskvina, a historian and journalist described by neighbours as a “genius”, sometimes slept in a coffin or on graveyard benches, said BNO News.
The historian was said to have visited more than 750 cemeteries in western Russia to indulge his fantasies, although it was not clear when he had begun exhuming graves.
Anatoly Moskvina is said to speak 13 languages and have a vast knowledge of history – on which he used to lecture at a local museum.