Russian Oligarchs

Egomania Viktor Rashnikov : Biography

Viktor Rashnikov, born on October 13, 1948, is a Russian billionaire businessman known for his significant wealth, estimated at $9.1 billion as of February 2019. He achieved this wealth as the predominant owner of Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK), a prominent global steel producer in the iron and steel industry.

In addition to his business ventures, Viktor Rashnikov is the proud owner of Ocean Victory, which, during its construction, ranked as the 10th largest yacht globally.

However, in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Rashnikov and MMK faced sanctions from the USA, UK, and EU. Notably, in September 2022, Hungary advocated for Rashnikov’s removal from the EU’s sanctions list.


In 1974, Viktor Rashnikov earned a bachelor’s degree in metal-forming processes from the Magnitogorsk Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Later, in 1994, he obtained another degree in Organization of Production Administration.

Rashnikov completed his doctorate in technical sciences in 1998. Alongside writing numerous research papers and scientific reports, he has successfully implemented various engineering solutions.

In 2002, he was honored with the title of Professor at the Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys. Additionally, Rashnikov serves as an academician at the Russian Academy of Quality Problems.


Viktor Rashnikov embarked on his career journey in 1967 at the Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK), starting as a fitter in the company’s repair shop.[9] Over the years, until 1991, Rashnikov progressed through various managerial roles at MMK, including Head of Production and Products Supply. By 1991, he had assumed the positions of Chief Engineer and First Deputy General Director. In 1997, Rashnikov achieved the role of General Director at MMK, ultimately becoming its Chairman of the Board in 2005.

Leadership at MMK

Viktor Rashnikov, having ascended through various roles at MMK, achieved almost complete control of the company in the 90s by purchasing shares on the market, reaching 87.26% ownership as of May 2017.

Rashnikov’s leadership at MMK is often described as impressive. Within a decade of becoming director in 1997, steel production at MMK doubled from 6 million to 12 million metric tons per year.

Termed the “steel king with magnetic effect” by the Financial Times in 2008, Rashnikov’s impact was significant.

During Rashnikov’s tenure as chairman of the board of directors in 2007, MMK transitioned to a publicly traded company on the London Stock Exchange. As part of his plans, a large investment program was put in place, which included updating five blast furnaces, building an oxygen unit, setting up electric arc furnace facilities, building the thick-plate Mill 5000, and expanding the cold sheet Mill 2000 complex.

From 2000 to 2016, the company invested a total of $13 billion, with approximately $10 billion dedicated to MMK’s development. Rashnikov’s strategic vision and investment decisions played a crucial role in the company’s growth and global standing.

Viktor Rashnikov’s biography

RASHNIKOV Viktor Filipovich (b. 1948 in Magnitogorsk) has been working at the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works since 1967, having grown from the position of a locksmith. In 1974, he graduated from the Magnitogorsk Mining and Metallurgical Institute. In 1991, he was appointed Chief Engineer and First Deputy General Director of MMK. In 1993, he became a co-founder of CJSC Investment Company, Inc.

Since 1997, Viktor Rashnikov has been the CEO of MMK. Since 1999, he has been a member of the Board of Inkombank, the Supervisory Board of Credit Ural Bank, as well as Magma CJSC and Tyazhpromexport CJSC affiliated with MMK. Since 2002, he has also been a member of the board of Rosbank. In 2005, he became Chairman of the Board and, in 2006, President of MMK Management Company LLC.

  • In 1991, he was appointed chief engineer and first deputy general director of MMK.
  • In August 1993, he became one of the founders of AOZT “Investment Company” Inreko “(supply and marketing activities).
  • 1994–1997: First Deputy General Director of OAO “MMK”.
  • 1997: Acting General Director of OAO “MMK”. Prime Leasing (representing the interests of Trans World Groop) and representatives of Inkombank proposed his candidacy for the position of General Director of the company at the MMK shareholders meeting that same year. On the same day, he was appointed General Director of OAO MMK. I also became a member of the Board of Directors of MMK.
  • On March 13, 1998, he was elected to the Board of Directors of OAO “Central Company FIG “Magnitogorsk Steel”.
  • From March 1999, – was a member of the Board of Directors of OAO “Inkom Bank” and a member of the Supervisory Board of OAO “Credit Ural Bank”. Member of the Board of Directors of ZAO “Magma”, created by OAO “Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine ” and ZAO “Tyazhpromexport”.
  • In 2000, Rashnikov was confidant of Vladimir Putin in presidential elections.
  • From June 2002: Member of the Board of Directors of JSCB “Rosbank”. In the 2003 Duma elections, he entered the federal list of “Unity and Fatherland—United Russia”. On December 7, 2003, YT was elected but refused to mandate.
  • Since April 2005, – Chairman of the Board of Directors. Since 2006, President of OOO “MMK Managing Company”.
  • He was awarded the title of laureate of the national prize named after Peter the Great “for outstanding contribution to the economy of Russia” (2000). He received numerous government and public awards. Among them – the medal “For Labour Valour” (1986), the Order of Merit (1995), the Order of Merit ” of the IV degree (1998) and III degree (2004), the Order of Peter the Great (2004), the Order of the Russian Orthodox Church: The Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh (2001), and the Order of St. Prince Daniel of Moscow (2005).
  • He has been elected deputy to the Legislative Assembly of the Chelyabinsk region three times. He is the President of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of the Chelyabinsk region, President of the International Club of Managers named after Peter the Great, and President of the hockey club “Metallurg” (Magnitogorsk).
  • He is a member of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. Chairman of the Russian part of the Russian-Moroccan Business Council and an honorary citizen of the Chelyabinsk region He was awarded the medal “For Labor Valour”, the Order of Merit, and the Order of Merit IV degree. Honorary citizen of the Chelyabinsk region.
  • In 2010, Russian magazine “Finance” praised the fortune of Victor Rashnikov at 8 billion dollars (fourteenth place in Russia). On March 10, 2010, American economic journal Forbes assessed the fortune of Rashnikov at 9,8 billion dollars (71st in the world).
  • He takes a great interest in mountain and water skiing and hockey. Vladimir Putin prefers skiing at the recreation facility “MMK” in the Chelyabinsk region.

Sources:, database “Labyrinth”

Viktor Rashnikov family

Viktor Rashnikov is married. Has two children.

Viktor Rashnikov crimes

Viktor Rashnikov is the main owner of one of the largest industrial enterprises in Russia, MMK (87.26% of the shares as of 2015), controlling it personally and through his Cypriot company, Mintha Holding Limited. He is one of the richest Russians: in the Forbes ranking of 2019, Rashnikov took 14th place with a fortune estimated at $8.9 billion.

  1. Viktor Rashnikov began establishing control over the plant in 1997, when he, together with his childhood friend Rashit Sharipov (at the time the Chairman of the Board of MMK), removed its director Anatoly Starikov and, with the support of Inkombank, was appointed General Director of the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works. A little later, Rashnikov got rid of Sharipov.
  2. The successful implementation of the plan to seize full control over MMK and use it for the personal enrichment of a narrow group of affiliates had an obviously corrupt nature. The ease of privatizing MMK is explained by Rashnikov’s close ties with the former Minister of Industry and Energy in the Russian government, Viktor Khristenko, who was deputy governor of the Chelyabinsk region in 1991–1996 and controlled the state-owned stake in MMK (23%). Viktor Rashnikov and Khristenko bought that stake through third parties in December 2004. Later, many minority shareholders claimed that they were deprived of their shares by forging signatures on transfer documents.
  3. Testimony from Valentina Davydova: “The shares were sold to the Mecom company located in the factory building, allegedly with my consent. And after that, instead of Mekom, Rashnikov became the owner of the plant. The court made an appeal for inaction to the prosecutor’s office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. However, I think the authorities are unlikely to help return the stolen goods. As the police department told me, “You don’t even know who you contacted. Your shares are held by Putin.”
  4. Rashnikov has strong personal ties with Vladimir Putin. He was his confidant in the 2000 elections. In 2003 and 2007, he ran for the State Duma from the United Russia party. The official website of the President of Russia publishes reports on the meetings of Rashnikov with the president. The media have repeatedly reported that Putin prefers skiing at the MMK recreation center in the Chelyabinsk region.
  5. Since 2006, Zumrud Rustamova, the wife of a senior Russian official, Arkady Dvorkovich, has been a member of the Board of MMK as the “non-executive director of MMK.”
    In 2008, Viktor Rashnikov and Alexei Mordashov (Severstal) lobbied for amendments to the Tax Code, according to which the sale of ferrous scrap was subject to VAT. In the Duma, Rashnikov’s lobbyist is Pavel Krasheninnikov, a member of the Duma from the Magnitogorsk district, an honorary citizen of Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk, and vice president of the Metallurg hockey club.
  6. Rashnikov has been the de facto owner of the Chelyabinsk region for many years. It is noteworthy that when he left the operational management of MMK in 2011, he transferred control to the then-general director of the plant, Boris Dubrovsky, who three years later, with the support of MMK, became the governor.
    Rashnikov and his friends were able to get a lot of money from MMK’s multibillion-dollar sales by using a complex network of middlemen and offshore companies. This would not have been possible without strong support from Russia’s top political leaders.
  7. The oligarchic business of Rashnikov is a family business. The youngest daughter, Olga Rashnikova, joined the board in 2012 and the strategic planning committee of Magnitogorsk, Forbes, estimates her capital at $3.5 billion. The eldest daughter, Tatyana Rakhno, was engaged in the supply of MMK products abroad in the mid-2000s, and then she became the owner of the Reconstruction Construction Company. The younger brother of Victor Rashnikov, Sergey, was the General Director of the company Profit Management Company, which supplied scrap to MMK.
  8. Like most Russian oligarchs, Rashnikov spends impressive amounts on a luxurious lifestyle. According to investigative journalists, he owns one of the largest and most expensive yachts in the world, Ocean Victory, and one of the most expensive Gulfstream G650ER business jets. The Rashnikov palace and manor in the suburbs of Moscow are estimated at 70–90 million euros. Through French companies, the Rashnikovs also own the luxurious villas of Villa Les Figuiers, Villa Nellcote, and Villa Les Terentes in the south of France.
  9. In January 2018, Rashnikov was included in the so-called Kremlin report, a list of influential Russian politicians and businessmen who could be targets of international sanctions “for significant transactions with organizations from the Russian defense and intelligence sector.”

Alexander Harris

Alexander Harris - The Digital Bloodhound Alexander isn't your typical investigative journalist. He thrives in the digital world, scouring the web for hidden connections and leaked documents. An expert data analyst and coder, he builds intricate digital trails to expose fraud, cybercrime, and government overreach. Alexander Harris began his career as a journalist. He is one of the founders of the " Russian Oligarchs Tracker Unit ".

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