Alcoholism in Russia: Death of Putin's ex-aide in US partly caused by heavy drinking - Reuters

12:03 Oct. 29, 2016

Death of Putin's ex-aide in US partly caused by heavy drinking - Reuters

Mikhail Lesin (left) prior to the meeting with Vladimir Putin, October 01, 1999 (GettyImages Photo)

Death of Mikhail Lesin on November 5, 2015 was ruled accidental, US authorities said

The death last year in Washington of Mikhail Lesin, a Russian media executive and former adviser to President Vladimir Putin, was accidental and caused partly by alcohol poisoning after days of heavy drinking, US authorities said on Friday.

Read also: EU diplomats pay tribute to slain Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov

Lesin, who was found dead in his hotel room on Nov. 5, 2015 at the age of 57, died partly from "acute ethanol intoxication," according to a statement by Washington's Metropolitan Police Department and the US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.

While Lesin's death sparked rumors of foul play at the time, law enforcement officials said the Justice Department had no open investigation of the case. On the night he died, Lesin was scheduled to attend a Washington gala honoring Russian billionaire and philanthropist Pyotr Aven, according to Radio Free Europe. But he never showed up.

Read also: Russian security services harass US diplomats in Moscow and Europe

 After reviewing video footage and evidence gathered during an investigation of Lesin's death, Washington's chief medical examiner concluded he died "as a result of blunt force injuries to his head, with contributing causes being blunt force injuries of the neck, torso, upper extremities and lower extremities, which were induced by falls, with acute ethanol intoxication," the statement said.

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