Mikhail Lesin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mikhail Lesin (left) with Vladimir Putin

Mikhail Yuriyevich Lesin (Russian: Михаил Юрьевич Лесин; July 11, 1958 – November 5, 2015) was a Russian political figure, media executive and an adviser to president Vladimir Putin.[1] In 2006 he was awarded the Order "For Merit to the Fatherland", one of Russia's highest state decoration for civilians. Mikhail Lesin was nicknamed the Bulldozer (Russian: Бульдозер) because of his ability to get virtually all Russian media outlets under The Kremlin's control.[2]

Lesin died in a Washington DC hotel room under unknown circumstances. His family initially said the cause of death was a heart attack but, in March 2016, the presiding coroner and police officials released a joint statement that Lesin succumbed to "blunt force trauma" to the head.[3] As of March 2016, the case is still being investigated by Washington, D.C., police.


Mikhail was born in Moscow to a family involved in military construction.[1][4] He spent childhood years in Mongolia while his father, Yuri, worked on military construction projects.[4]

From 1976 to 1978, he was in military service with the Soviet Army and Soviet Naval Infantry (Marines Corps) of the USSR Armed Forces.[1][4][5] In 1984, he graduated from the Moscow Engineering and Construction Institute[a] in Yaroslavsky as a civil engineer.[1][4][5] From 1982 to 1987, he worked in engineering positions at Minpromstroy (Industrial construction ministry) in Moscow and in Ulan Bator.[5] During 1988-89, he was Deputy Director for Production of television programs of the Creative Production Association "Game Appliances".[5] From 1990 to 1993, he was Director of Youth creative production association of the TV company RTV, Российское телевидение (РТВ).[5] In the late 1980s, he directed the television show Funny Guys (Весёлые ребята).[1]

In the early 1990s, Lesin set up Video International, which became a multibillion-dollar advertising agency with exclusive advertising rights on NTV, and, in 2015, is still one of Russia's biggest.[6][7][8] In 1994, he left Video International.[8] From 1993 to 1996, he was Head of Commercial Department, Deputy General Director and General Director of RIA Novosti.[5] At this position in Novosti, he was pivotal in the Russian parliamentary elections of 1995 and, especially, the re-election of Yeltsin in the 1996 Russian presidential elections.[7] He began the slogan "Voice of the Heart", authored "I believe I do, I hope," and "Save and Protect", and provided the president's weekly radio address to the country.[7][8] From September 1996 until February 1997, he was head of Public Relations for the President of Russia under Yeltsin.[5][7][8]

From 1997 to 1999, he was first deputy chairman of the VGTRK (ВГТРК), which essentially brought state run television under one roof and follows the designs of Vladislav Surkov. This counters a more Western approach, which would have ended state owned media by promoting a more liberal media that is not state owned and operated.[1][5][7]

On June 6, 1999, and largely from Mikhail's background among Video International, Novosti, and VGTRK, Prime Minister Stepashin appointed Lesin to head the Ministry of Press, Broadcasting and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation. After Stepashin's brief tenure, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin maintained Lesin as minister and allowed Lesin to be a key figure in the 1999 Russian parliamentary elections and the 2000 Russian presidential election. Through Mikhail's support, the pro-Kremlin Unity block gained power and the incoming Prime Minister Putin succeeded Yeltsin as the Russian president.[1][5][7]

Continuing under President Putin from 1999 until March 9, 2004, as Ministry of Press, Broadcasting and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation, Lesin essentially merged a private advertising agency, Video International which controlled 65–70% of the television advertising market, with the state owned media companies, and, thus, brought tremendous wealth to Video International.[1][5][7]

During Putin's first term as Russian president with Lesin as Minister of the Press, Vladimir Gusinsky's private media holdings, "Media Most", came under intense scrutiny causing numerous charges to filled against Gusinsky.[7] In an agreement for the numerous charges to be dropped, Gusinsky's immense private media holdings, "Media Most", were to be transferred to Gazprom-Media, which, at the time, had recently acquired NTV, the only nationwide state-independent television in Russia and a highly critical opponent of the War in Chechnya, Vladimir Putin, and the Unity block.[7][9] Gusinsky subsequently was brought under arrest as a fugitive from Russia and, while incarcerated, refused to agree to the terms for the transfer. However, in 2001 with Lesin acting as mediator, "Media Most" assets were transferred to Gazprom-Media under the terms of Protocol No. 6, which allowed oligarchs to escape prosecution and be given the freedom to leave the country if they turned over their assets to the state.[7][10]

In the 2002 Telegrand (Russian: Телегранд), the Expert Council of the National Research Center of Television and Radio[b] named Lesin as "the most influential person of Russian television and radio".[4]

Under Putin from April 6, 2004, until November 18, 2009, he became adviser to the President of the Russian Federation for mass media relations.[1][5][7] During his tenure and beginning in 2005, Lesin helped conceive and create the RT (Russia Today) television news network, he said, "to establish a news channel that would counter CNN and BBC with a Moscow spin. It's been a long time since I was scared by the word propaganda. We need to promote Russia internationally. Otherwise, we'd just look like roaring bears on the prowl."[7][11]

From 2010 to 2011, Lesin was on the board of directors for National Telecommunications (NTC),[c] which at the time belonged to the National Media Group.[7]

In 2011, he moved to Beverly Hills, California, and enjoyed ocean fishing, being with his family, and helping his son Anton in the Hollywood movie business.[7][12][13][14] Lesin's old friend, Alexander Shapiro, a former vice president of Warner Bros.,[15] is a co-producer with Anton in several films.[14][15][16]

In 2013, he returned to Russia and from October 1, 2013, until January 12, 2015, he was head of Gazprom-Media, a state-controlled media giant that describes itself as one of the largest media groups in Russia and Europe.[17][18] In April 2014, he became chairman of the Russian Association of Film and Television Producers.[19][20] He resigned from Gazprom-Media in December 2014, citing family reasons.[17] After retiring, he spent several months in Switzerland for treatments to a spinal injury that he received while skiing and then returned to his home in California.[7][14]


Lesin led the Kremlin's efforts to censor Russia's independent television outlets, according to accusations by Senator Roger Wicker (Republican of Mississippi) in 2014.[17] Wicker called on the Justice Department to launch an investigation into Lesin and his immediate family over allegations of corruption and money laundering.[17][21] In a July 29, 2014, letter to then-Attorney General Eric Holder, Wicker wrote Lesin and his immediate family had "acquired multi-million dollar assets" in Europe and the United States "during his tenure as a civil servant," including multiple residences in Los Angeles worth $28 million.[17][21][22] On December 3, 2014, Assistant Attorney General Peter J. Kadzik replied to Senator Wicker's letter by stating the Justice Department's Criminal Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been referred for appropriate disposition of Mikhail Lesin and "similarly situated Russian individuals and companies with assets in the United States that may be in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Anti-Money Laundering Statutes."[23][24] The properties are located at

It's unclear if the FBI ever initiated a probe.[17][29]


Lesin was found dead before noon on Thursday, November 5, 2015, in The Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington, D.C. with no gunshot wounds.[17][30][31][32] He was found without any identification in a hotel room that was in his name.[33][i] The original police report indicated an unknown victim in the room which was booked in his name.[33] After much time, a member from the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., confirmed the identity of the individual as Mikhail Yuriyevich Lesin.[33][35][36][37] A law enforcement official said there were no obvious signs of forced entry or foul play in his hotel room and that on the video surveillance, Lesin appeared disheveled when he returned to his hotel room.[3] TASS reported that an early investigation did not find any signs of violent death, quoting a police spokesman, Sean Hickman, as saying security had not seen anything suspicious. The spokesman said the nature of the investigation could change, depending on what was found at the scene and after an examination of the body.[6] On Friday, November 6, RIA Novosti reported that Lesin died of a heart attack citing a spokesman for the family as saying: "Today, Mikhail Lesin died ... His death came supposedly from a heart attack."[35][38] RT reported the next day that the cause of death was a heart attack.[31][39][40][41] In a USA Today article, relatives said he suffered from a disease and died because of the heart attack.[42] Washington's Metropolitan Police Department opened a "death investigation".[6] An autopsy had been conducted, but according to Beverly Fields, the Washington, D.C. medical examiner public information officer, no ruling about the cause of death would be made until sometime in 2016.[43][44][45][j] Russian officials were working with U.S. authorities to determine the circumstances of the death.[47] He is buried in Los Angeles.[48][49][50][k]

On November 7, 2015, the Kremlin released official condolences from president Vladimir Putin: "The president appreciates the enormous contribution made by Mikhail Lesin to the formation of modern Russian media."[l][52]

On March 10, 2016, Mashable stated that they had been informed by Beverly Fields that Lesin's cause of death was "blunt force injuries to the head," and that Lesin's body showed signs of "blunt force injuries of the neck, torso, upper extremities and lower extremities."[53] During a March 10 press conference, LaShon Beamon, spokesperson for the department of forensic sciences in the medical examiner's office, and Hugh Carew, a spokesman for the police, released an official joint statement that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head but the manner of death was still classified as “undetermined”.[32][41][54][55] Dustin Sternbeck, Washington D.C. police department’s chief spokesman, said that the case remains under investigation and would not say whether a crime may have been committed, “We’re not willing to close off anything at this point."[31][56][m]

On March 10, 2016, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the Russian Embassy in the United States is using official diplomatic channels to gain more information about the investigation into Lesin's death and to receive more clarification.[31][55][56] On March 11, 2016, Yuri Chaika, Russia's Prosecutor General, requested Loretta Lynch, the US Attorney General, to provide documents pertaining to the death of Mikhail Lesin.[58][59] During a March 10 US State Department press conference, John Kirby, the US State Department spokesperson, stated that the United States had shared documents about Lesin's death with Russian officials and that he did not know the type of visa that Lesin had nor did he know why Lesin was in Washington, D.C.[60][61][62] As of March 11, 2016, according to a source familiar with the investigation, there is no motive for the apparent attack which probably occurred outside the hotel and there are no possible suspects.[62]


Lesin was of Jewish descent.[63] Lesin was married to Valentina Ivanova and had a daughter, Catherine, from his first marriage in 1979; and a son, Anton, from his second marriage in 1983. Mikhail Lesin had five grandchildren at the time of his death.

Catherine, aka Yekaterina/Ekaterina Lesina, led the RT bureau in the United States.

Anton attended a Swiss university and is a producing graduate of the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles. Since 2012, Anton has been a Hollywood film producer, with credits including Rage (originally Tokarev), Haunt, Sabotage, Fading Gigolo, Fury, Rock the Kasbah, The Family Fang, and Dirty Grandpa.[16] With Bill Block's 2015 departure as CEO from QED International and following Paul Hanson's 2015 departure from Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures, Anton and Sasha Shapiro operate QED Holdings as its principal financiers through the global media fund, Media Content Capital (MCC), and formed Covert Media in 2014, adding Paul Hanson as CEO in 2015, to make three to four $10 million to $50 million films a year.[16][64][65][66][67][68] He is often credited as "Anton Lessine". Anton and Swiss wife, Carole, have two children.[14][26][27][69][70]

During 2015, Mikhail, had a daughter with Victoria Rakhimbayeva (Russian: Виктория Рахимбаева; born 1986), a former Maxim model with whom he had been close since mid 2014.[2][71] According to her social media site, she and Lesin had planned to reside in New York City.[2] At online sites, Victoria refers to Lesin as her husband.[2] Upon Mikhail's death, Russian journalist Alexei Venediktov posted, "My condolences to the baby and her mother, his family, his son, daughter, Valentina [Ivanova], his wife."[2]

Awards and honours[edit]


  1. ^ Since June 15, 1993, the Moscow Engineering and Construction Institute (Russian: Московский инженерно-строительный институт им. В.В. Куйбышева (МИСИ им. В.В. Куйбышева)) is known as the Moscow State Construction University (Russian: Национальный исследовательский университе́т Московский государственный строительный университет (НИУ МГСУ).
  2. ^ Expert Council of the National Research Center of Television and Radio (Russian: экспертного совета Национального исследовательского центра (НИЦ) телевидения и радио (телерадио))
  3. ^ National Telecommunications (NTC) (Russian: Национальных телекоммуникаций (НТК))
  4. ^ Purchased in August 2011 by the British Virgin Islands incorporated Dastel Corporation, which Mikhail Lesin is the sole owner.[23][24][25][26][27]
  5. ^ Purchased in 2012 by the British Virgin Islands incorporated Dastel Corporation, of which Mikhail Lesin was the sole owner.[23][24][25]
  6. ^ Purchased by HFC Management, of which Mikhail Lesin's daughter, Catherine Lesin, is an employee.[25]
  7. ^ Purchased in 2009 by Java Drive Inc. and where Mikhail Lesin's son, Anton Lessine resided.[23][24][25][26][27]
  8. ^ Purchased November 17, 2015, by Mikhail Lesin's son, Anton Lessine.[28]
  9. ^ Almost immediately after Lesin's death, the FBI returned Lesin's passport to his wife Valentina Ivanova who resides in Los Angeles. She confirmed that the passport was Mikhail Yuriyevich Lesin.[34]
  10. ^ An update about the cause of death occurred on February 5, 2016. Beverly Fields, the public information officer for the Washington, D.C. medical examiner, announced that so far the investigation continues into the cause of Mikhail Lesin's death.[46]
  11. ^ Sergei Vasilyev the CEO of Video International, Alexander Akopov of Amedia and Cosmos Film, and Vladimir Grigoriev of Rospechat attended the cremation and viewed the opened casket of Lesin and confirmed that it was Lesin before the cremation ceremony.[51]
  12. ^ "Президент высоко ценит огромный вклад, который внес Михаил Лесин в становление современных российских средств массовой информации."
  13. ^ Conspiracy theorists speculate that he was killed by the Russian government for working with the FBI. Russia Today and William Jones of the Executive Intelligence Review provide counters to Lesin working for the FBI.[2][54][57]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Mikhail Yuriyevich Lesin". lenta.ru (in Russian). Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Stewart, Will (November 12, 2015). "Exclusive: Vladimir Putin's media Svengali who was found dead in DC hotel ... had recently found new love and become father with Siberian model, 29". Daily Mail. Retrieved November 12, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Fandos, Nicholas; Myers, Steven Lee (March 10, 2016). "Mystery Deepens Over the Death of a Former Putin Ally". The New York Times. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Михаил Юрьевич Лесин. Биографическая справка". RIA Novosti (in Russian). November 17, 2009. Retrieved November 12, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Администрация Президента: Лесин Михаил Юрьевич". The Kremlin (in Russian). 2009. Archived from the original on August 26, 2009. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c Johnston, Chris; Yuhas, Alan (November 7, 2015). "Police investigate after Putin ally Mikhail Lesin found dead in Washington hotel". The Guardian. Manchester. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Surganova, Elizaveta; Sobolev, Sergei; Rusyaeva, Paulina (November 7, 2015). ""Я все могу": чем запомнился бывший министр печати Михаил Лесин". RBC (РБК) (in Russian). Retrieved November 9, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d Качкаева, Анна (November 7, 1999). "Радио Свобода воскресная программа "Лицом к лицу": Михаил Лесин". Radio Svoboda (in Russian). Retrieved November 10, 2015. 
  9. ^ Viktor Shenderovich, "Tales From Hoffman" (48–57), Index on Censorship, Volume 37, Number 1, 2008, p. 49.
  10. ^ Милош (Milos), Ирина (Irina) (November 9, 2015). "10 achievements of Mikhail Lesin: What a legacy left by one of the most influential people in the Russian media market". Sostav.ru (in Russian). Retrieved November 12, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Controversial Propaganda: Using Stalin To Boost Russia Abroad". Der Spiegel. November 20, 2007. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Anton & Carole Lessine's House". August 8, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2015. 
  13. ^ Johson, Luke; Schreck, Carl (August 1, 2014). "Ex-Kremlin Media Boss Hit With Call For Probe Over Pricey U.S. Real Estate". Radio Free Europe. Retrieved November 10, 2015. 
  14. ^ a b c d Elizabeth Surganova; Anastasia Zhokhova (September 26, 2014). "Возвращение тяжеловеса: как Михаил Лесин управляет медиарынком". Forbes (in Russian). Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b Press release (January 10, 2002). "Sasha Shapiro Promoted To Vice President, New Business Development, Warner Bros. International Theatres". Warner Bros. Retrieved November 15, 2015. 
  16. ^ a b c Block, Alex Ben; Holdsworth, Nick (contributed from Moscow) (February 24, 2015). "Bill Block to Exit Indie Film Player QED, Russian Investors Take Control (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 15, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g Mike Levine (November 6, 2015). "Putin Associate Found Dead in DC Hotel". Yahoo! News. ABC News. Retrieved November 6, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Lesin on October 1, will replace Sienkiewicz at the head of Gazprom-Media". Rossiya Segodnya (ria.ru) (in Russian). September 30, 2013. Retrieved November 9, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Лесин, Михаил Юрьевич" (in Russian). TASS. Retrieved March 12, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Скончался экс-министр по делам печати Михаил Лесин" (in Russian). TASS. November 6, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2016. 
  21. ^ a b "Ещё один патриот России сгорел на недвижимости в Калифорнии". Навальный (in Russian). July 31, 2014. Retrieved November 21, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Американский сенатор попросил проверить имущество главы "Газпром-Медиа" Лесина в США". TV Rain (in Russian). July 31, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  23. ^ a b c d "Дело об отмывании денег Лесиным передано в ФБР". Навальный (in Russian). December 10, 2014. Retrieved November 21, 2015. 
  24. ^ a b c d "Дело об отмывании денег Лесиным передано в ФБР (альтернативный)". Навальный (in Russian). December 10, 2014. Retrieved November 21, 2015. 
  25. ^ a b c d Johnson, Luke; Shrek, Carl (August 1, 2014). "Пропагандист с Беверли-Хиллз". Svoboda (in Russian). Retrieved November 21, 2015. 
  26. ^ a b c Arévalo, Penny (October 20, 2014). "Nanny for 'Fury' Producer Sues Former Boss for Retaliation: Tessa Wetherbee says she called Child Protective Services on Anton Lessine, who then fired her. She claims she's due unpaid overtime.". Patch.com. Retrieved November 21, 2015. 
  27. ^ a b c Westside Today staff (October 20, 2015). ""Fury" movie producer to face trial on nanny employment allegations". Westside Today. Retrieved November 21, 2015. 
  28. ^ Leitereg, Neil J. (November 17, 2015). "'Rock the Kasbah' producer Anton Lessine cuts a deal in Pacific Palisades". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 21, 2015. 
  29. ^ Schreck, Carl (December 10, 2014). "FBI Considers Money-Laundering Probe Of Russian Media Boss". Radio Free Europe. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  30. ^ "Судмедэксперты: расследование смерти Лесина может занять до 3 месяцев" (in Russian). RIA Novosti. November 9, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2016. 
  31. ^ a b c d Hermann, Peter; Birnbaum, Michael (March 10, 2016). "Ex-aide to Putin died of blunt force trauma at D.C. hotel, medical examiner says". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  32. ^ a b "Судмедэксперты Вашингтона: Михаил Лесин скончался от травм головы". RIA Novosti (in Russian). March 11, 2016. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  33. ^ a b c "Михаил Лесин умер в Вашингтоне, причины устанавливаются" (in Russian). TASS. November 7, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Вдова Лесина заявила, что загранпаспорт покойного мужа находится у нее". Gazeta.ru (in Russian). Moscow. March 12, 2016. Retrieved March 12, 2016. 
  35. ^ a b "Russian Embassy Says Former Russian Press Minister Lesin Died in Washington". Sputnik. November 7, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2016. 
  36. ^ Miller, Christopher (November 7, 2015). "Putin aide and Russia Today founder dies in Washington hotel". Mashable. Retrieved March 12, 2016. 
  37. ^ "Смертью Михаила Лесина занялся департамент по расследованию убийств: Общество, Расследование пока не закрыто и проводится "по факту сообщения о смерти"" (in Russian). REGNUM. November 9, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2016. 
  38. ^ "Умер бывший министр печати, экс-глава "Газпром-медиа" Михаил Лесин". RIA Novosti (in Russian). November 6, 2015. Archived from the original on November 7, 2015. 
  39. ^ "Media tycoon & former Russian press minister Lesin dies from heart attack at 57". RT. November 7, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2016. 
  40. ^ "Russian media executive Mikhail Lesin dies at 57 in DC hotel". Yahoo! News. Associated Press. November 7, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  41. ^ a b "Autopsy: Former Putin ade died of blunt force trauma in DC". Associated Press. March 10, 2016. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  42. ^ James, Mike (November 7, 2015). "Russian millionaire found dead in Washington, D.C. hotel". USA Today. 
  43. ^ Kellan Howell (November 7, 2015). "Mikhail Lesin, Russian millionaire, Putin adviser found dead in Washington hotel". The Washington Times. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  44. ^ "Судмедэксперты: расследование смерти Лесина может занять до 3 месяцев". RIA Novosti (in Russian). November 9, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2015. 
  45. ^ "Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Washington, DC". Retrieved November 21, 2015. 
  46. ^ Богдановский, Алексей (February 5, 2016). "Расследование причин смерти Лесина не уложилось в трехмесячный срок". RIA Novosti (in Russian). Retrieved February 18, 2016. 
  47. ^ "Un ex-ministre de Vladimir Poutine retrouvé mort dans un hôtel à Washington". Le Monde (in French). November 7, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  48. ^ "Михаил Лесин похоронен в США". RT (in Russian). November 13, 2015. Retrieved November 13, 2015. 
  49. ^ "RIA "Novosti": Mikhail Lesin was buried in Los Angeles". RIA Novosti. November 13, 2015. Retrieved November 13, 2015. 
  50. ^ "Михаил Лесин похоронен в США, сообщили его близкие". RIA Novosti (in Russian). November 13, 2015. Retrieved November 13, 2015. 
  51. ^ Рождественский, Илья; Сурганова, Елизавета; Бондаренко, Мария (March 12, 2016). "Навальный рассказал об отъезде Лесина из США через 40 дней после смерти". RBK (in Russian). Retrieved March 12, 2016. 
  52. ^ Kremlin press release (November 7, 2015). "Путин выразил соболезнование в связи с кончиной Михаила Лесина". Interfax (in Russian). Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  53. ^ Miller, Christopher (March 10, 2016). "Founder of Russia Today died from 'blunt force injuries to the head'". Mashable. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  54. ^ a b "'Blunt injuries' killed Russian media tycoon Lesin in Washington, DC – forensic data". RT. March 11, 2016. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  55. ^ a b Katz, Alan (March 10, 2016). "Ex-Putin Aide Who Died in D.C. Hotel Said Killed by Blunt Force". New York City. Bloomberg News. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  56. ^ a b Silva, Christina (March 10, 2016). "Former Putin Aide Mikhail Lesin Killed In Washington Hotel? Cause Of Death Revealed". International Business Times. New York City. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  57. ^ Miller, Shane (January 9, 2016). "Was Putin's Media Chief Ready to Snitch Before He Dropped Dead?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  58. ^ "Russia Sends Request to US on Provision of Data on Ex-Minister Lesin Death". RIA Novosti. March 11, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  59. ^ Stanglin, Doug; Arutunyan, Anna (March 11, 2016). "Russia seeks U.S. documents in millionaire's death". USA Today. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  60. ^ "США уверяют, что предоставили РФ данные о расследовании смерти Лесина". RIA Novosti (in Russian). March 12, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  61. ^ Gresko, Jessica (March 11, 2016). "Russian officials say they want more information from the U.S. about the mysterious death of a former aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin". US News. Associated Press. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  62. ^ a b "Dead ex-Russian press minister may have been attacked outside hotel: source". Reuters. March 11, 2016. Retrieved March 11, 2016. 
  63. ^ "Russian-Jewish media executive dies suddenly in DC hotel". The Times of Israel. Associated Press. November 7, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  64. ^ McNary, Dave (May 16, 2012). "Media Content Capital fuels QED growth". Variety. Retrieved November 14, 2015. 
  65. ^ McNary, Dave (February 24, 2015). "Bill Block to Exit QED International". Variety. Retrieved November 14, 2015. 
  66. ^ McNary, Dave (August 26, 2015). "Covert Media Launching With Former Annapurna Exec Paul Hanson". Variety. Retrieved November 14, 2015. 
  67. ^ Kay, Jeremy (August 26, 2015). "MCC, Paul Hanson launch Covert Media". Screen Daily. Retrieved November 14, 2015. 
  68. ^ Lincoln, Ross A. (August 26, 2015). "Veteran Exec Paul Hanson To Head New Film Company Covert Media". Deadline.com. Retrieved November 15, 2015. 
  69. ^ Hunter, Walker (August 21, 2014). "How Putin's Media Czar May Have Funded Brad Pitt's New Movie". Business Insider. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  70. ^ "Anton Lessine". IMDb. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  71. ^ "Стиль Тема месяца: тореадорurl". Maxim (in Russian). March 2014. Retrieved November 12, 2015. 
  72. ^ "Указ Президента Российской Федерации от 27 ноября 2006 года № 1318 «О награждении орденом „За заслуги перед Отечеством" IV степени Лесина М. Ю.»" (PDF). alppp.ru (in Russian). November 27, 2006. Retrieved November 11, 2015. 
  73. ^ "Распоряжение Президента Российской Федерации от 11 июля 2008 года № 390-рп «О награждении Почётной грамотой Президента Российской Федерации Лесина М. Ю.»" (PDF). alppp.ru (in Russian). November 7, 2008. Retrieved November 11, 2015. 

External links[edit]