Was Putin’s former press minister murdered in Washington?

Mikhail Lesin
Mikhail Lesin
Mikhail Lesin

… by Jim W. Dean,  VT Editor

Lesin's timing was good for his rise in both media and politics
Lesin’s timing was good for his rise in both media and politics

The death of Mikhail Lesin last November 5th, Putin’s former Press Minister, has had a hush hush investigation up until this past week. 

After an initial Russian report by the family of a heart attack death, it was reported that the Russian government was being stiff-armed by the State Department on providing any details.

We now know why. The autopsy showed he died of blunt force trauma, not just of the head, but all over his body. He had been severely beat up.

We would assume this indicated an altercation or attack in his Dupont Circle Hotel room — but the case takes another twist, with the new report that investigators are looking into whether he was assaulted before returning to his room.

There has been no word mentioned about the hotel security cameras, but you can bet they know if anyone came to Lesin’s room with him, and if not, that indicates the focus on an outside attack, where he might have come back to his room and then died on a head injury. I am assuming that no one carried the dead Lesin back to his room as that usually attracts a lot of attention in an five-star hotel.

Washington police are handling the case quietly… with no press reports on hotel witnesses, or how the body was discovered, etc… the usual in a sensitive death like this.

But the Russians, after being kept “officially” in the dark for several months are now in direct contact — that delay is story in itself — and it’s strange that Moscow has been so quiet on it. This tells me they already know some things about it that they do not want public.

Lesin was in Beverly Hills
Lesin was in Beverly Hills

We are finally getting some history on Lesin now. He son is a successful Hollywood producer, a strange thing to accomplish for an outsider to an exclusive club. But with a quick Google it turns up that he is Jewish, so he had his Hollywood club card.

It seems mom and dad moved to LA so dad could work with his son for a while, moved back to Russia, and then retired. Records show he had bought luxury real estate in Europe, also.

Lesin brought some cash (or someone else’s) when he moved to LA after leaving government service in Russia, buying $28 million in real estate there, including his $4+ million dollar house.

Lesin had already been a financially successful advertising media wheel in Russia before he went into politics, and played a key role in helping Putin get elected. Whether that wealth was all his, or he was fronting for those who all shared it, we do not know.

The house is in a holding company, not unusual at all for foreign buyers. But what is unusual is that the registered agent for the holding company has never heard of Lesin. This is an indication that the money may not have been all his, but where he was fronting for a group who set the son up in the movie business for some reason.

Once property is in corporate names like this, the stock can change hands several times a year through offshore trusts, with the owner of record never changing. Who is living in the property, when and why is of no interest to the registered agent, and accountant in Lesin’s case.

Pyotr Aven with Putin
Pyotr Aven with Putin

Radio Free Europe has reported that Lesin was a no show at a Ritz-Carlton gala event honoring Russian billionaire [about $5 billion] and philanthropist Pyotr Aven.

My instincts tell me there is a lot of fire under this smoking case, possibly due to the age-old  problem of someone fronting for well-heeled questionable money sources, where some of that money had disappeared, which resulted in some unhappy people.

Senator Roger Wicker had asked the Justice Department to look into whether Lesin’s wealth may have been the result of corrupt or money laundering enterprises, but there are no open investigations on Lesin, an indication that Wicker himself was fronting for someone in making the charges with no real evidence himself.

Just Google him to follow the story.



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