-Milionarul rus Mikhail Lesin , fost consilier al lui Putin si fondatorul Rusia Today. gasit mort de „atac de cord” la 57 de ani, intr-un hotel din Washington DC.


Millionaire ex-Putin aide and Russia Today founder is found dead in Washington DC hotel room after ‘heart attack’

  • Mikhail Lesin died from a heart attack aged 57 in a Washington DC hotel 
  • Police officers were called to the Dupont Circle Hotel on Thursday morning 
  • Was Putin’s press secretary and worked in government from 1999 to 2009 
  • Lesin founded state TV network and ‘propaganda bullhorn’ Russia Today
  • Owned property worth $28m in LA arousing suspicion of money laundering

Mikhail Lesin (pictured in 2002), millionaire former aide to Russian president Vladimir Putin, has been found dead in a Washington DC hotel room

A millionaire former aide to Russian president Vladimir Putin has been found dead in a Washington DC hotel room.

Mikhail Lesin, who was Putin’s press secretary during his first stint as president and founded state television network Russia Today, died aged 57 from a suspected heart attack.

Police were called to the upmarket Dupont Circle Hotel at about 11.30am on Thursday and found him dead. The Russian Embassy confirmed Lesin had died.

A police spokesman would only confirmed that a ‘death investigation’ had been launched.

In a statement released by the Kremlin’s press service, Putin said: ‘The president has a high appreciation for Mikhail Lesin’s massive contribution to the creation of modern Russian mass media.’

Lesin owns multiple properties in Los Angeles worth at least $28million, arousing suspicions among officials who called for a money laundering probe.

Republican Senator Roger Wicker wrote a letter to then Attorney General Eric Holder in December 2013 saying Lesin had ‘multi-million dollar assets’ in the US and Europe.

‘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.

Lesin’s company the Dastel Corporation bought a 13,000 sq ft  Beverly Hills home in August 2011 for $13.8million and a 10,600 sq ft property in Brentwood for $9million in 2012, it was reported.

It is not known whether the FBI launched an investigation.

Lesin, who was Russian press minister from 1999 to 2004 and presidential media adviser from 2004 to 2009, is credited with founding state television network Russia Today in 2005.

Mikhail Lesin (right, with Putin), who was Putin's press secretary during his first stint as president, founded state television network Russia Today, regarded in the West as a mouthpiece for the Kremlin

Mikhail Lesin (right, with Putin), who was Putin’s press secretary during his first stint as president, founded state television network Russia Today, regarded in the West as a mouthpiece for the Kremlin

President Putin paid tribute to Lesin (behind Putin), saying he had made a 'massive contribution' to Russian mass media

President Putin paid tribute to Lesin (behind Putin), saying he had made a ‘massive contribution’ to Russian mass media

The station said Lesin was responsible for ‘inspiring the creation’ of the agency, which is widely regarded in the West as a mouthpiece for the Kremlin.

Secretary of State John Kerry has referred to Russia Today, often shortened to RT, as a ‘propaganda bullhorn’.

Following the crisis in Ukraine, Kerry said: ‘Russia Today network has deployed to promote president Putin’s fantasy about what is playing out on the ground.

‘They almost spend full-time devoted to this effort, to propagandize, and to distort what is happening or not happening in Ukraine.’

Claim: Lesin was reported by the TV station he set up - RT, known to be pro-Kremlin - to have died from a longstanding illness while staying at the Dupont Circle Hotel (pictured)

Lesin is believed to have suffered a heart attack while staying at the Dupont Circle Hotel (pictured)

Lesin, pictured in Paris with his wife in 2002, went on to run Gazprom-Media but stepped down last year

Lesin, pictured in Paris with his wife in 2002, went on to run Gazprom-Media but stepped down last year

After leaving the Kremlin Lesin went on to become a senior executive at Gazprom-Media, Russia’s largest media holding company. He resigned for family reasons last year.

The wealthy Russian was staying at the Dupont Circle Hotel, which charges up to $250 a night for a room.

Lesin was married and had a daughter from his first marriage in 1979 and a son from his second marriage in 1983. He had five grandchildren.

His son Anton Lessine is a Hollywood film producer and worked on 2014 movies Fury, starring Brad Pitt, and Sabotage, featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

RUSSIA TODAY: THE ‘PROPAGANDA BULLHORN’ FOUNDED BY LESIN

The idea for Russia Today (RT) was conceived by Mikhail Lesin as the Russian government sought to improve the public image of the country.

Before its conception in 2005, the head of the RIA Novosti news agency Svetlana Mironyuk said Russia was only known for ‘communism, snow and poverty’.

Some would argue RT has done little to change that, with most of the West seeing the state-funded television network as a media arm for the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin.

During the conflict between Russia and Georgia in 2008, RT named Georgia as the aggressor, despite Russia invading parts of Georgia, which had merely defended itself against attack from the separatist governments of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The channel caused consternation in the US in 2010 when it released controversial adverts showing President Barack Obama merging into Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

It was captioned ‘Who poses the greatest nuclear threat?’ and subsequently banned in US airports, while a similar advert showing a soldier merging into a Taliban fighter causing similar uproar.

In 2012 RT’s website was hacked by a group called Antileaks, believed to be because of Wikileaks chief Julian Assange backing of the channel or because of the jailing of protest group Pussy Riot.

Secretary of State John Kerry has referred to Russia Today, often shortened to RT, as a ‘propaganda bullhorn’.

Following the crisis in Ukraine, Kerry said: ‘Russia Today network has deployed to promote president Putin’s fantasy about what is playing out on the ground.

‘They almost spend full-time devoted to this effort, to propagandize, and to distort what is happening or not happening in Ukraine.’

Even Vladimir Putin has admitted RT is biased, saying: ‘Certainly the channel is funded by the government, so it cannot help but reflect the Russian government’s official position on the events in our country and in the rest of the world one way or another.

‘But I’d like to underline again that we never intended this channel, RT, as any kind of apologetics for the Russian political line, whether domestic or foreign.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3307999/Russian-media-executive-Mikhail-Lesin-dies-57-DC-hotel.html#ixzz4jeWW3PDCFollow

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