Lesin, nicknamed the “Bulldozer,”served as Russian president Vladimir Putin's press chief from 1999 to 2004.
Earlier, according to the Moscow Times:
His beginnings were less grand. In the final years of Communist rule, [Vladimir Pozner, a television journalist] encountered Lesin when he was being employed to carry briefcase-sized mobile telephones for businessmen.
But he was driven. In the late 1980s he co-founded an advertising company and swiftly became a multimillionaire. Only a few years later, he helped mastermind the slogans of Boris Yeltsin's successful 1996 run for the presidency, launching his government and state media career.Lesin became chief executive officer at Gazrprom-Media in 2013 and remained in the position until early 2015, at which time he left for "family reasons."
It appears he was pushed out by those closer to Putin, which may have not made him a happy Russian.
Rumors are circling all over this death.
One rumor has it that he was co-operating with US intelligense ageniceis and that Moscow had him taken out. The other rumor is that his death was faked by the US and that he is being kept safe as part of a witness protection scheme, while spilling to the FBI all he knows on Putin's Russia.
By the time he left Gazprom Media, Lesin, a heavy smoker and drinker for much of his life, was ill. Lesin lost 30 kilograms after breaking his spine in an accident in 2012, Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of RT, wrote after his death. His back later became infected, forcing him to undergo a series of 13 operations that continued late into this year, she said.
But still, there is mystery surrounding his death. It is unclear why he would be at a relatively low to mid-scale luxury hotel, given his wealth and penchant for living big.
Press work apparently pays well in Moscow.
His $50 million superyacht, Serenity, has just been discovered stranded in Brisbane.
The 180-foot super yacht was photographed abandoned on Christmas Eve at the Rivergate Marina on the Brisbane River in Austrialia.
|$50 million yacht of Putin's former press agent.|
According to the Daily Mail, only weeks before his death was announced, he fathered a child with model and flight attendant Victoria Rakhimbayeva, 29.
Police in Washington DC have said no cause of death has been determined while also indicating there was no obvious sign of foul play.
'A ruling on the cause and manner of death is pending further investigation,' the police have said in a statement.
At the time of the death, Putin expressed his condolences to Lesin’s family.
“The president has a high appreciation for Mikhail Lesin’s massive contribution to the creation of modern Russian mass media,” the Kremlin’s press service said.