Former Putin aide died of blunt force trauma in D.C. hotel

By Shawn Price  |  March 11, 2016 at 3:31 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 11 (UPI) -- A former aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin died of blunt force injuries to the head, medical examiners said.

The aide, Mikhail Lesin, 57, was found dead in a Washington, D.C., hotel room in November, but some details of his death were released this week.

Lesin was found to have sustained injuries to his neck, torso, arms and legs, the D.C. Medical Examiner's Office said Thursday.

"We're not willing to close off anything at this point," said Dustin Sternbeck, D.C. police department's chief spokesman.

Sternbeck would not say if the injuries were due to foul play.

Lesin was a millionaire and longtime adviser to Putin, serving as head of media affairs. He was also head of the giant Gazprom-Media Holding group. In 2014, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., called for Lesin to be investigated for alleged money laundering.

Lesin's family told Russian media shortly after his death he had died of a heart attack.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the Russian government is expecting "clarification from Washington and relevant official data on the progress of the investigation."

Lesin worked for Putin between 2004 and 2009 advising on the creation of the Russia Today, or RT news channel.

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