A former aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin and prominent political figure was found dead on Thursday in a Dupont Circle hotel room, according to the Russian Embassy in Washington.
The spokesman confirmed Russian media reports that Mikhail Lesin, a former press minister and ex-executive of Gazprom-Media, died in D.C.
D.C. police said only that a body was found before noon on an upper floor of a hotel in the 1500 block of New Hampshire Avenue in Northwest.
A police spokesman said Friday night that authorities have not yet publicly identified the man and that a cause of death had not yet been determined. Russian state media said Lesin died of a heart attack. He was 57 or 58, according to different Russian new agencies.
District police said on Thursday that detectives who investigate apparent natural deaths were handling the case.
It was unclear what Lesin was doing in Washington.
Russia Today, the state-run English language news channel, credited Lesin with ‘inspiring the creation” of the news agency.
Lesin was the former executive of Gazprom-Media, the state-run holding company that controls much of the Russian press. RIA Novosti, a state news agency, quoted a family member confirming the death and saying it was from a heart attack.
Russia Today, without providing a source, suggested that Lesin had been suffering from a prolonged illness.
Will Englund and Kathy Lally contributed to this report.