Former Russian media head found dead in Washington hotel after heart attack

Lesin was once head of the state-controlled media giant Gazprom-Media but resigned in 2014.

November 8, 2015 08:28
Red Square

A T-34 Soviet-made tank and Russian servicemen take part in a rehearsal for a military parade at the Red Square in Moscow. (photo credit: REUTERS)

WASHINGTON - Former Russian press minister Mikhail Lesin, who once headed state-controlled media giant Gazprom-Media, died of a heart attack in Washington, local and Russian media reported on Friday.

ABC quoted a Russian and a US official as saying Lesin, who was Jewish, was found dead inside a hotel room in Washington's Dupont Circle area on Thursday.

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Russia Today (RT) quoted family members as saying Lesin died of a heart attack on Wednesday.

RT quoted TASS as saying police had found no signs of foul play but that a formal investigation into his death had been launched.

A representative for Washington police was not immediately available to comment.

ABC said Lesin, who was Russia's Minister of Press from 1999 to 2004, has been accused of censoring Russia's independent media. He became head of Gazprom-Media Holding in 2013 but resigned the following year.

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