The shocking find was made close to the city of Khabarovsk in Siberia, close to the border with China.
A local found one of the hands lying on the shore of a river, leading officers to a bag with the other hands inside.
The hands were found near a popular fishing spot, but despite this locals said they had seen nothing suspicious.
There is ‘mystery over who the sinister hands belonged to, when they were chopped off – and why’, reported The Siberian Times.
Fingerprints were found on one hand, and the others are being checked.
One gruesome theory is that the hands could have been axed off as a punishment for theft.
Another is that the hands were severed from dead bodies in a hospital – but it is unclear why this would happen.
One fear is that the corpses were illegally used for stealing body parts and the hands were cut to prevent bodies being identified afterwards.
Local media reported that next to the remains were found medical bandages and hospital-style plastic shoe covers.
‘It is a sickening sight,’ said a local source. Police have refused to comment.