NYT: Mikhail Lesin’s Strange Death In U.S. Follows A Fall from Russia’s Elite

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) gestures as Mass Media Minister Mikhail Lesin listens to him during a meeting with local press in the far eastern city of Vladivostok, August 24, 2002. President Vladimir Putin pressed North Korea on Friday to forge a new Asia-Europe freight route by extending Russia's trans-Siberian railway across the Korean peninsula to bypass China. REUTERS/ITAR-TASS/KREMLIN PRESS SERVICE CVI - RTR9D8R

WASHINGTON — As happens sometimes with wealthy Russians, Mikhail Y. Lesin found his business and political fortunes in Vladimir Putin’s Russia crumbling. Once an influential player in Mr. Putin’s rise to power, he was abruptly dismissed from his position in the Kremlin’s powerful media apparatus.

Washington – Former Russian Press Minister Died In U.S. Of Blunt Force Injuries

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) gestures as Mass Media Minister Mikhail Lesin listens to him during a meeting with local press in the far eastern city of Vladivostok, August 24, 2002. President Vladimir Putin pressed North Korea on Friday to forge a new Asia-Europe freight route by extending Russia's trans-Siberian railway across the Korean peninsula to bypass China. REUTERS/ITAR-TASS/KREMLIN PRESS SERVICE CVI - RTR9D8R

The mystery surrounding the death of Vladimir Putin’s former press minister in a Washington hotel deepened on Thursday when an autopsy revealed blunt force injuries to his head.

Man Behind RT News Service, Former Jewish Putin Aide Mikhail Lesin Dies In DC Hotel

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) gestures as Mass Media Minister Mikhail Lesin listens to him during a meeting with local press in the far eastern city of Vladivostok, August 24, 2002. President Vladimir Putin pressed North Korea on Friday to forge a new Asia-Europe freight route by extending Russia's trans-Siberian railway across the Korean peninsula to bypass China. REUTERS/ITAR-TASS/KREMLIN PRESS SERVICE CVI - RTR9D8R

Vladimir Putin’s former press secretary, who was an “inspiration” for the Russia Today (RT) news channel, has been found dead in a hotel room in Washington.