Saturday, March 12, 2016

A Riddle, Wrapped in a Mystery, Inside a Putin Hit Squad

Back in Stalin's day, the Russians would only risk sending in a hit squad to a Third World country. Now, Putin apparently has the flexibility with our administration to carry out an assassination in Washington, D.C.

Part of a capital city death is less of a mystery now:

Mikhail Y. Lesin once occupied the upper stratosphere of Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia, an advertising executive turned cabinet minister who helped carry out the state takeover of the country’s independent media and later created the Kremlin’s global English-language television network.

Until late 2014 he ran the media wing of the state’s energy giant, Gazprom, before stepping down or, more likely, being forced out. He ended up in the United States, where he and his family owned properties in Los Angeles said to be worth far more than the salary of the former government minister. And then, in November, he was found in a hotel here in Washington, the victim, the Russian state media he had helped build said, of a heart attack.

On Thursday, more than four months later, one of the questions surrounding Mr. Lesin’s death was answered: The office of the chief medical examiner in Washington announced that he had not died of a heart attack, but rather of blunt force injuries to his head.

What? No ice pick? I thought Putin had more of a sense of humor than to overlook that kind of detail.