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Russian Officials: Ex-Putin Aide's Death Requests Unanswered

Russian Officials: Ex-Putin Aide's Death Requests Unanswered

Powerful. Millionaire Mikhail Lesin was a Russian political figure, media executive and an adviser to President Vladimir Putin.

The office of the chief medical examiner in Washington announced that Lesin's death in a room at the four-star Dupont Circle Hotel last November was due to "blunt force trauma" to his head, neck, torso, arms and legs.

As Putin's media advisor and Russian press minister he earned the nickname The Bulldozer for the manner by which all Kremlin critics oppressed in his course, our correspondent says. The statement did not indicate what caused the blunt-force head injury, and it did not explain whether Lesin, who was in his late 50s, died by accident or was murdered.

Russian state media reported that the aide, Mikhail Lesin, died in the hotel of a heart attack.

According to a police incident report, Mr Lesin, who was also President Vladimir Putin's press minister from 1999 to 2004, was found unconscious on 5 November on the floor of his room in the Doyle Washington Hotel, also known as the Dupont Circle Hotel.

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

Thursday's announcement from the DC Medical Examiner's Office ­appeared to dispute that assertion.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said at a briefing for reporters Friday that State Department officials had facilitated communication between police in Washington and the Russian government but declined to go into additional detail because the investigation into Levin's death is ongoing. Though he and family members had business interests in the USA, his reasons for being in Washington are unclear. The Russian Foreign Ministry's chief spokeswoman indicated a high-level diplomatic request was on the way to Washington. Andrew Ames, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, also had no comment.

Leslin was the subject of a U.S. senator's request to the U.S. Justice Department in 2014 to investigate whether he broke U.S. laws against money laundering in buying several expensive homes in Los Angeles.

"That a Russian public servant could have amassed the considerable funds required to acquire and maintain these assets in Europe and the United States raises serious questions", Wicker wrote.


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