Death of ex-Putin aide Mikhail Lesin ruled an accident

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Mikhail Lesin, a former aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin who was found dead at a Washington, D.C. hotel last year, died of an accidental fall after days of excessive drinking, U.S. investigators have concluded.

Lesin’s manner of death had initially been listed as “undetermined” after he was found dead with blunt force injuries inside a room at the Dupont Circle hotel in Washington, D.C. in November 2015, prompting speculation about his sudden death.

Prosecutors said on Friday that investigators determined that Lesin entered his room at the Dupont Circle Hotel for the final time at about 10:48 a.m. on November 4 after days of excessive alcohol consumption. He was alone in his room when he suffered multiple falls, causing his death.

“After review of the video footage and new evidence developed from the investigation, the Chief Medical Examiner has determined that Mr. Lesin died as a result of blunt force injuries to his head, with contributing causes being blunt force injuries of the neck, torso, upper extremities, and lower extremities, which were induced by falls, with acute ethanol intoxication,” prosecutors said.

After Lesin was found dead in his room on November 5, Russian media cited family members as saying that the 59-year-old politician had passed away after a heart attack. The reports made no mention of injuries or excessive alcohol consumption.

Lesin had previously served as Russia’s minister of press, television, radio broadcasting and mass communications. He was widely credited with playing a crucial role in the founding of English-language news channel Russia Today (RT) and was previously the head of the Gazprom-Media Holding group.

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