Their bodies, usually naked and with signs of rape, were later found around local forests, at cemeteries or by the roadside.
According to Senior Prosecutor of the Federal Prosecutor Department Aleksandr Shkinev, Popkov was ready to get another life sentence, but he expected that the court would leave him the rank of junior police lieutenant and retain a pension of 24 thousand rubles ($361).
He killed his victims after offering them rides late at night, sometimes in a police vehicle, while he was off-duty around his home city of Angarsk near Irkutsk.
Following his arrest, Popkov showed officers where he had disposed of his victim's bodies.
Serial killer Mikhail Popkov stands inside a defendants' cage during a court hearing in Irkutsk, Russia, on December 10, 2018.
He was detained in the Russian Far East in 2012 two decades after he began his killing spree and was sentenced to life imprisonment in January 2015 for 22 murders and 2 attempted murders. He will be sent to a prison that is exclusively for convicts serving life terms, nicknamed the "Black Dolphin". All his victims were women between the ages of 16 and 40, except for one male, a policeman.
Popkov told journalists previous year that he viewed himself as a "cleaner" who was purging his city of prostitutes.
Popkov was caught in 2012 after investigators re-examined the case and carried out DNA testing of residents, focusing on those who drove a make of vehicle that matched tracks found at crime scenes.
Prosecutors said Popkov "has a pathological attraction to killing people".
Dubbed "The Werewolf" and the "Angarsk Maniac" by Russian media due to the mutilation of his victimes, Popkov's total of at least 78 convicted murders makes him Russia's worst known mass killer, the BBC noted.
The death toll exceeds the 48 murdered by "chessboard killer" Alexander Pichushkin, and the 52 murdered by Andrei Chikatilo during the Soviet era. He aimed to kill one person for each of the 64 squares on the chessboard. He later confessed to 20 murders.
Macron rode to the presidency previous year on promises of rejuvenating France's stagnant economy and salvaging European unity. (AAP) Yellow vests protesters listening french president Emmanuel Macron speaking during a special address to the nation.
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