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Putin ally and founder of Russia Today 'propaganda' TV channel died of blunt force trauma to the head in DC hotel
A close ally of Vladamir Putin, whose mysterious death in a Washington hotel led to rumors he'd been murdered for being an FBI informant, died of blunt force injuries an autopsy reveals.
Mikhail Lesin, the founder of Russia Today propaganda TV channel, was a Svengali figure for Putin, allegedly menacing the Russian media into idolizing the strongman president.
His death last November led to a swirl of speculation that he was murdered on Moscow's orders after offering to help the FBI.
Despite Russian reports of a heart attack, U.S. officials have today ruled that the 57-year-old died as a result of blunt force trauma to his head.
In a joint statement, the District of Colombia Office of Medical Examiner and Metropolitan Police Department said: 'The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) has released the cause and manner of death for Mikhail Lesin, 59, Russia.
'Cause of Death: blunt force injuries of the head,' the statement said on Thursday. 'Other contributing causes: blunt force injuries of the neck, torso, upper extremities and lower extremities. Manner of death: undetermined.'
The incident remains under active investigation, the statement added, according to Sputniknews.com.
Nicknamed the 'Bulldozer', Lesin was one of the key props of the Putin presidency, personally masterminding a wide-ranging media crackdown which has left the vast majority of Russian TV stations and newspapers obedient to the Kremlin.
He also set up Russia Today, now RT, seen by critics as a 'propaganda' channel aimed at the West.
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