Russian Oligarchs

Viktor Rashnikov: Russian Billionaire and Steelworks MMK Owner

Early Life and Education

Viktor Rashnikov, born on October 13, 1948, in Magnitogorsk, began his journey as a mechanic at the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK) in 1967. He graduated in 1974 from the Magnitogorsk Mining and Metallurgical Institute with a degree in metal forming. In 1993, he earned a second diploma in “Organization of Production Management.”

Academic Achievements

Rashnikov’s commitment to academia led him to achieve the title of Candidate of Science in 1996, with a focus on improving end-to-end technology for rolled products. Later, in 1998, he obtained a doctorate with a dissertation on developing technological systems for competitive rolled steel production.

Careers at Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works

Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works
Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works

Starting as a mechanic, Viktor Rashnikov climbed the ranks, holding various positions, including operator, foreman, and head of a sheet-rolling shop. In 1985, he became the head of the production department and, in 1990, the first deputy general director and chief engineer. Rashnikov assumed the role of MMK’s General Director in 1997 and held the position until 2005. He also served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and President of the management company MMK.

Viktor Rashnikov’s Ascension at MMK

Ascension at MMK
Ascension at Magnitogorsk

Rashnikov played an important role in the leadership of the Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK). His professional journey with the organization began, and he steadily ascended through the ranks, holding various management positions. In 1997, Rashnikov reached the pinnacle of his career at MMK when he assumed the role of General Director. Later, in 2005, he further solidified his leadership by becoming the Chairman of the Board.

Under Viktor Rashnikov‘s guidance, MMK achieved remarkable milestones. One of the standout accomplishments during his tenure was the doubling of steel production, surging from 6 million to an impressive 12 million metric tons annually by 2007. This expansion solidified MMK’s position as a major player in the global steel production landscape.

Beyond his professional achievements, Rashnikov is acknowledged as a Russian billionaire businessman. As the majority owner of MMK, he played a crucial role in steering the company towards becoming a leading global steel producer. His influence extended not only to the financial aspects but also to the strategic decisions that shaped the trajectory of MMK’s growth.

The extent of Rashnikov’s control and influence over Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works has been a subject of considerable attention, leading to various reports and discussions. His significant impact on the company’s development and day-to-day operations underscores the profound imprint he left on MMK’s history and its standing in the global steel industry.

Crisis Management

During the 1998 Russian economic crisis, Rashnikov played a crucial role in securing a significant loan with German partners. Despite the challenges, he halted the decline in production, achieving a remarkable 65% increase in output by 2002.

Political Involvement

Viktor Rashnikov‘s political career included being elected to the Legislative Assembly of the Chelyabinsk region in 1994. He played a prominent role in the Fatherland Party in 1998 and later became a confidant of Vladimir Putin during the 2000 presidential campaign. When elected to the State Duma in 2003 and 2007, he declined the mandate both times.

Business Ventures and Philanthropy

Apart from MMK, Rashnikov controlled various enterprises and actively contributed to the metallurgical industry’s development. In 2009, he refused dividends of 1.86 billion rubles, directing the funds to support MMK’s needs.

Personal Life

Rashnikov, married to Tatyana Kuzmina, has two daughters, Olga and Tatyana. Olga served on the board of directors at MMK until March 2022. Rashnikov has been an avid fan of skiing and hockey, serving as the president of the Metallurg hockey club since 1999.

Net Worth

Net Worth

Viktor Rashnikov, the big shot in the Russian steel game, stacked up a crazy amount of cash mainly by running the show at Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK). Back in ’06, he was sitting on a cool $3.6 billion, and by 2019, it had ballooned to $9.1 billion. Fast forward to 2023, and we’re talking a whopping $10 billion. This dude’s major ownership and calling the shots at MMK have been the secret source behind his mega-rich status.


Rashnikov remained actively involved in MMK, serving as the Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2016. He continued to make significant contributions to the industry, signing agreements with Gazprom and expressing readiness to support the Russian Hockey Federation.

Awards and Honors

Throughout his career, Viktor Rashnikov received numerous awards, including the Order of Merit and Honor, the Medal “For Labor Valor,” and recognition from the President of the Russian Federation. In 2022, he was honoured as a Hero of Labor of the Russian Federation.


Rashnikov has faced allegations of corruption and the creation of a scheme involving intermediary firms. However, no substantial evidence or legal action emerged. His support for Boris Dubrovsky, then governor of the Chelyabinsk region, raised concerns about potential financial interests.


Several countries, including the US, Australia, Canada, the EU, Switzerland, and the UK, have put sanctions on Viktor Rashnikov, a Russian steel tycoon who owns Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK). These sanctions were imposed due to his involvement in economic sectors that significantly contribute to the Russian regime’s revenue, especially in the financial services sector.

Despite his attempts, Rashnikov failed in his legal battle against being included in the EU’s sanctions list following the invasion of Ukraine. The EU’s General Court in Luxembourg rejected his appeal, making him one of the oldest Russian billionaires affected by these sanctions. These measures are part of the global response to Russia’s actions, including the annexation of Crimea and the invasion of Ukraine.


The Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Plant, a major player in Russia’s industrial landscape, has become a substantial contributor to the country’s tax revenue. The recent uptick in the company’s tax obligations has translated into a considerable boost in funds for the Russian government. The individual at the helm of this enterprise is a prominent Russian entrepreneur involved in key sectors that generate substantial income for the Russian Federation. It’s worth noting that this figure is associated with the annexation of Crimea and the destabilization of Ukraine.

Further details

DatePlace of sanction
15/03/2022European Union
09/05/2022Great Britian
12/10/2022New Zealand


Viktor Rashnikov, born in 1948, embarked on his career as a mechanic at Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK) in 1967, rising through various roles to become MMK’s General Director in 1997. Under his leadership, MMK doubled steel production, reaching 12 million tons annually by 2007, solidifying its global position. Rashnikov played a crucial role in crisis management during the 1998 economic downturn, securing loans and achieving a 65% production increase by 2002. His political involvement included roles in regional assemblies and a close association with Vladimir Putin. Rashnikov’s net worth surged to $10 billion by 2023.

Despite facing corruption allegations, no legal action ensued. He supported Boris Dubrovsky, raising concerns about financial interests. Rashnikov received numerous awards, including the Hero of Labor of the Russian Federation in 2022. However, sanctions from various countries, including the EU, US, and UK, were imposed due to his involvement in sectors contributing significantly to the Russian regime’s revenue. His legal battle against EU sanctions failed in light of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, making him one of the oldest Russian billionaires affected.

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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