: NYT: Mikhail Lesin's strange death in U.S. follows a fall from Russia's elite

11:58 Apr. 3, 2016

NYT: Mikhail Lesin's strange death in U.S. follows a fall from Russia's elite

The Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington, Nov. 7, 2015 (AP Photo)

Former Russian press minister, who was found dead in The Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington, last year, died of blunt force trauma to the head

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. Perhaps sensing that things could get worse, he seemed to be preparing for a new life in America.

Read also Former Russian press minister died in U.S. of blunt force injuries

The trappings of a comfortable exile were already in place. He had created a corporation in Los Angeles to buy expensive homes. His son and daughter had lived there. Mr. Lesin, 57, traveled regularly to the United States with a new girlfriend, who gave birth in September.

"He finished his business in Russia, if you will, and was looking for another life," said Sergei V. Aleksashenko, a former deputy of Russia's central bank who moved to the United States after taking part in protests against Mr. Putin.

Instead, the new life abruptly came to an end.

Read also The Monster Is Dead: How Mikhail Lesin managed to kill Russian journalism

On the morning of Novmber 5, Mr. Lesin was found dead inside a hotel room in Washington, where he had been invited to attend a fund-raising dinner for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in the city's West End two nights before. Full story 


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