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Russia Today founder Mikhail Lesin dies in US hotel

Published 07/11/2015

Mikhail Lesin was a media adviser to Russian president Vladimir Putin
Mikhail Lesin was a media adviser to Russian president Vladimir Putin

Mikhail Lesin, Russian president Vladimir Putin's former media adviser who helped found English-language news service Russia Today, has been found dead in a US hotel room.

The Russian embassy in Washington confirmed the death of Mr Lesin, 57, whose body was discovered in the US capital on Thursday. Russia Today said on its website that Mr Lesin died of a heart attack.

Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Officer Sean Hickman said police found Mr Lesin's body after being called to the upmarket Dupont Circle Hotel.

Russia Today, commonly known as RT, credited Mr Lesin with "inspiring the creation" of the agency.

He was Russian press minister from 1999 to 2004 and presidential media adviser from 2004 to 2009, RT said. He then became a senior executive at Gazprom-Media, Russia's largest media holding company.

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