Ex-Putin aide Mikhail Lesin died of blunt force trauma at D.C. hotel

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Mikhail Lesin, a former aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin who was found dead at a hotel in Washington, D.C. last year, died of blunt force injuries to his head, officials say.

Lesin, 59, died of blunt force injuries to the head with blunt force injuries to the neck, torso, upper extremities and lower extremities listed as contributing causes, according to a statement from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in the District of Columbia.

The manner of death remains “undetermined” and the incident is still under active investigation by the Metropolitan Police Department’s Homicide Branch. Russian media, citing family members, had previously reported that Lesin had died of a heart attack but made no mention of injuries.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, responding to the news, said the Russian Embassy in Washington had repeatedly requested information from American authorities. “The U.S. side has not provided any substantive information. We are awaiting clarifications from Washington and the relevant official data on the progress of the investigation,” she said.

Zakharova added: “If the information reported in the media today is confirmed, the competent authorities of Russia will send a request to the U.S. side for international legal assistance.”

Lesin, who previously served as Russia’s minister of press, television, radio broadcasting and mass communications, was found dead inside a room at the Dupont Circle hotel in Washington, D.C. in early November. He has widely been credited with playing a crucial role in the founding of English-language news channel Russia Today and was previously the head of the Gazprom-Media Holding group.

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