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Ex-Putin aide, found in D.C. hotel, died from 'blows to head'

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(New York Times) Mikhail Y. Lesin once occupied the upper stratosphere of Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia, an advertising executive turned cabinet minister who helped carry out the state takeover of the country’s independent media and later created the Kremlin’s global English-language television network.


Until late 2014 he ran the media wing of the state’s energy giant, Gazprom, before stepping down or, more likely, being forced out. He ended up in the United States, where he and his family owned properties in Los Angeles said to be worth far more than the salary of the former government minister. And then, in November, he was found in a hotel here in Washington, the victim, the Russian state media he had helped build said, of a heart attack.


On Thursday, more than four months later, one of the questions surrounding Mr. Lesin’s death was answered: The office of the chief medical examiner in Washington announced that he had not died of a heart attack, but rather of blunt force injuries to his head. But the mystery surrounding his rise and fall only deepened.


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