- The Washington Times - Friday, October 28, 2016

Rumors swirled about the mysterious demise of a Russian media executive and trusted confidante of Vladimir Putin, after the 57-year-old was found dead in his D.C. hotel room in 2015. But federal prosecutors now say Mikhail Lesin’s death was an accident caused in part by excessive drinking.

Lesin was found dead in his room at the Dupont Circle Hotel on Nov. 5, 2015, having suffered blunt force trauma to the head, neck, torso, and extremities. Authorities initially listed his manner of death as undetermined as they investigated. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District on Friday closed the case, saying that Lesin’s injuries “were induced by falls.”

“Based on the evidence, including video footage and witness interviews, Mr. Lesin entered his hotel room on the morning of Wednesday, November 4, 2015, after days of excessive consumption of alcohol and sustained the injuries that resulted in his death while alone in his hotel room,” prosecutors said.

“Acute ethanol intoxication” was listed as a contributory cause of his death.

Lesin established English-language news service Russia Today, now known as RT News. He served as Russian press minister from 1999 to 2004 and presidential media adviser from 2004 to 2009. He then became a senior executive at Gazprom-Media, Russia’s largest media holding company.

• Andrea Noble can be reached at anoble@washingtontimes.com.

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