A trusted confidante of Vladimir Putin who went on to establish the news outlet ‘Russia Today’ died of blunt force trauma to the head, a Washington medical examiner has ruled.
Mikhail Lesin, 59, was found dead on the floor of his room at the Doyle Dupont Circle Hotel in November. At the time, police released little information about the circumstances of his death.
The D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner released only his cause of death Thursday, noting that the manner of death was “undetermined.” Other contributing factors to Lesin’s death listed by the medical examiner include “blunt force injuries of the neck, torso, upper extremities and lower extremities.”
The Metropolitan Police Department is continuing the investigate the death.
At the time of Lesin’s death, Russia Today reported on its website that he had died of a heart attack, and the state news agency RIA-Novosti cited a family member giving the same cause of death.
Lesin established English-language news service Russia Today, now known as RT News, saying Russia “must do propaganda for ourselves, otherwise we’ll always look like bears.”
He served as Russian press minister from 1999 to 2004 and presidential media adviser from 2004 to 2009, RT reported. He then became a senior executive at Gazprom-Media, Russia’s largest media holding company.