Palace Intrigue: Putin’s Aide Mikhail Lesin Found Dead in Hotel ‘Murdered for Being an FBI informant’ – or ‘Could Even Still Be Alive’Posted: November 12, 2015
Will Stewart reports: The death from a ‘heart attack’ of a longtime close ally of Vladimir Putin in a Washington hotel has led to a swirl of speculation that he was murdered on Moscow’s orders after offering to help the FBI.
“Nicknamed the ‘Bulldozer’, Lesin was one of the key props of the Putin presidency, personally masterminding a wide-ranging media crackdown which has left the vast majority of Russian TV stations and newspapers obedient to the Kremlin.”
Mikhail Lesin, 57, was announced last weekend to have been found dead in the US capital. He was a Svengali figure for Putin, who was alleged to have menaced the Russian media into idolizing the strongman president.
“He also set up Russia Today, now RT, seen by critics as a ‘propaganda’ channel aimed at the West.”
The shock death has created an eave of speculation in Moscow that it is related to previous reports that he was helping the FBI – and could be murder.
There are even separate allegations that Lesin may still be alive, with his demise faked by the US authorities.
According to this version, he is being kept safe as part of a witness protection scheme, while spilling to the FBI all he knows on Putin’s Russia.
Daily Mail Online can reveal that only weeks before his death was announced, he fathered a child with glamorous model and flight attendant Victoria Rakhimbayeva.
Murdered? Mikhail Lesin and his new love Victoria Rakhimbayeva, who were photographed when she was pregnant. He was found dead last Friday in a Washington DC hotel – and now speculation is mounting about him
Claim: Lesin was reported by the TV station he set up – RT, known to be pro-Kremlin – to have died from a longstanding illness while staying at the Dupont Circle Hotel (pictured)
World traveler: Victoria Rakhimbayeva, believed to be 29, posted photographs from around the world and said that she and Lesin were planning to live in New York, although she preferred Los Angeles
“There are unsubstantiated claims in Moscow that when he died he was in debt to billionaire Yury Kovalchuk, one of Putin’s closest big business friends.”
She is believed to be aged 29, with whom he had enjoyed a close relationship since at least mid-2014.
She has not commented on his death other than to thank friends on social media for their commiserations, but before the tragedy she made clear that they intended to set up home permanently in New York.
Despite Russian reports of a heart attack, police in 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,’ said a Saturday statement.
Nicknamed the ‘Bulldozer’, Lesin was one of the key props of the Putin presidency, personally masterminding a wide-ranging media crackdown which has left the vast majority of Russian TV stations and newspapers obedient to the Kremlin.
He also set up Russia Today, now RT, seen by critics as a ‘propaganda’ channel aimed at the West.
But earlier this year, after the break-up of his marriage, and in a new relationship with his Siberian lover who he may have wed – she referred to him as her ‘husband’ – he suddenly quit the latest of several high profile positions, as head of Gazprom Media, a major state owned media conglomerate. Read the rest of this entry »
“Really, we just don’t understand the French.”
— Obama’s staff response, According to Luzier
Charlie Hebdo to meet with and draw President Barack Obama in the aftermath of the bloody terrorist attack on the publication’s offices in Paris.The White House on Friday denied a report in a French magazine that the administration invited staffers from the satirical weekly
“The idea was to have folks from Charlie to the White House. An interview? Awesome.”
Rénald Luzier, better known by his pen name, Luz, told the French magazine Les Inrockuptibles that U.S. officials conceived of the visit as a way to make up for the absence of a top American official at a march in support for Charlie Hebdo on Jan. 11, one week after the attack.
“We would have gone there directly. Except that they wanted to have a cartoonist come to draw Obama. This isn’t Montmartre. I said, ‘If he comes to Paris, I’ll put Budweiser in the fridge and I’ll draw him.’”
— Rénald Luzier
U.S. Ambassador Jane Hartley attended the demonstration, along with leaders of Germany, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
“We have seen some reports that a Charlie Hebdo staffer claims to have received, and declined, an invitation to the White House. These reports are not true. No such invitation was ever extended.”
— White House official, on condition of anonymity
But the absence of Obama, Vice President Joe Biden or Secretary of State John Kerry led to accusations from American conservatives that the president was turning his back on freedom of speech. The attack, by two brothers of Algerian descent, was in apparent retaliation for cartoons that many Muslims saw as blasphemous. Twelve people were shot to death and 11 injured.
“Obama didn’t send an important representative, and sending John Kerry to see [French President François] Hollande wasn’t enough,” Luzier said. Read the rest of this entry »
“I haven’t spoken to the president about what he did yesterday. I guess I prepared for a lot of questions today, but I did not prepare for a question based on what the president was actually doing yesterday.”
“I haven’t spoken to the president about what he did yesterday,” Josh Earnest told Fox News’s Ed Henry during Monday’s briefing. “I guess I prepared for a lot of questions today, but I did not prepare for a question based on what the president was actually doing yesterday.”
On less than 36-hours notice for the outdoor march, Earnest explained that the president’s attendance proved difficult to coordinate due to security protocols. Additionally, the White House worried that security measures would have impacted other participants’ ability to take a part in the rally. Read the rest of this entry »
No end to Gaza rocket fire, Israeli air strikes, as conflict with Hamas enters Day 5 http://t.co/puCqiYSFCQ
— The Times of Israel (@TimesofIsrael) July 11, 2014
Daniel Schwammenthal writes: In a sane world, Israeli company SodaStream would be a poster child for corporate responsibility. Of the 1,300 staff in its West Bank plant, 450 are Israeli Arabs and 500 are Palestinians. All workers receive equal pay, which in the case of the Palestinians is several times the average salary they would normally make.
[Check out Amazon’s SodaStream Store] I call it “fizzy water”. I support SodaStream. I have one, I like bubbles…]
Here is a real-life example of coexistence, a place where Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Muslims, Druze and Christians work together in peace. To boot, they assemble a product that, by turning tap water into fizzy drinks, cuts the production of environmentally damaging beverage containers.
Alas, this world is not sane, certainly not when it comes to discussions of Israel. Simply because one of its 20-plus factories is in the West Bank, anti-Israeli activists have been targeting SodaStream and its celebrity spokesperson, American actress Scarlett Johansson.
No matter that the factory is in a location that would most likely remain Israeli in a future peace agreement. And if it became part of Palestine, even better for the new state’s tax revenues. But in the destructive world of supposedly pro-Palestinian activism, this facility must be boycotted, those 500 Palestinians and their families be damned.