Resume: Mikhail Y. Lesin
1958 in Moscow.
Launches Video International, one of Russia's first advertising agencies--and now its biggest--in 1992.
Officially leaves Video International in November, 1994, for state-controlled news agency RIA Novosti; heads state-owned TV Novosti in 1995.
Moves into the Kremlin in 1996, where he is a key figure in crafting the blitzkrieg TV-ad campaign for then-President Yeltsin's reelection. In 1997, promoted to deputy head of state-owned national-TV network RTR, a company with which Video International has exclusive rights to sell ad time.
PUTIN'S POINT MAN
Appointed Russian Press Minister in July, 1999. Seen by Russian media observers as Putin's enforcer in clamping down on Russia's only independent national TV network, NTV.