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Putin's Media Man Lesin Died of Blunt Force Head Trauma – Report

A former chief of Moscow's media machine, who was found dead in a Washington hotel last November, died of blunt force trauma to the head, the medical examiner's office said in a statement quoted by U.S. and Russian media on Thursday.

Mikhail Lesin, 57 — whose resume included heading the Russian Press Ministry and the giant Gazprom Media holding — also suffered blunt force injuries to the neck, torso, legs and arms, the Washington medical examiner's office and police said in a joint statement.

The manner of death remains undetermined, the brief statement said — meaning the medical examiner's office had not determined whether a crime, an accident, or other circumstances were involved.

Washington police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck was quoted by The Washington Post as saying investigators were “not willing to close off anything at this point.”

After Lesin was found dead in Washington's Dupont Hotel on Nov. 5, 2015, Russian media reports quoted his relatives as saying he died of a heart attack.

Many found his death mystifying, with questions and speculation surrounding the details of his visit to Washington, and rumors about his apparent falling out of favor with President Vladimir Putin and his powerful allies.

Lesin resigned from Gazprom Media in early 2015, after about two years in charge of the media holding, and attributed his departure to family reasons.

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