The prominent Russian media mogul who co-founded the news channel RT, Mikhail Lesin, has reportedly been found dead in a hotel room in Washington, D.C. ABC News reports that both Russian and U.S. officials confirmed Lesin’s death on Friday night.
Lesin, formerly head of media affairs for the Russian government, was also a close advisor to President Vladimir Putin for years. He was most known for creating the English-language, government-sponsored network Russia Today, which, according to its site, “provides an alternative perspective on major global events, and acquaints an international audience with the Russian viewpoint.”
Lesin had been accused repeatedly of tightening censorship of the press in Russia. In 2014, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker called on the Department of Justice to investigate him for money laundering and corruption, claiming that Lesin had obtained $28 million worth of property and “multimillion dollar assets in Europe and the United States” during his time as a civil servant.