WASHINGTON (AP) — A former aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mikhail Lesin, who helped found the English-language news service Russia Today, has been found dead in an upscale Washington hotel room.
The Russian Embassy in Washington has confirmed the death of Lesin, whose body was discovered Thursday. Russia Today reports on its website that the 57-year-old died of a heart attack.
Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Officer Sean Hickman says that officers were called to the Dupont Circle Hotel about 11:30 Thursday morning and found a man dead. Russian Embassy spokesman Yury Melnik confirms that the man was Lesin.
Russia Today, commonly known as RT, credits Lesin with "inspiring the creation" of the agency.
Lesin served as Russian press minister from 1999 to 2004 and presidential media adviser from 2004 to 2009.