Viktor Alekseyevich Zubkov (b. September 15, 1941, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Soviet Union) is the current Prime Minister of Russia. He was a financial crime investigator until September 12, 2007, when he was nominated by President Vladimir Putin to replace Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, who resigned earlier that day. The nomination was approved in the Duma on September 14, 2007.
Zubkov graduated from the Economic Department of the Leningrad Agriculture Institute in 1965.
In 1966 he was drafted to the Soviet Army for a 18-month term. From 1967 to 1985 he worked on leading positions in kolkhozes of Leningrad Oblast. In 1985 to 1991 he occupied several leading positions in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in Leningrad Oblast, in 1989 to 1991 a First Deputy Chairman of the Leningrad Oblast Executive Committee of the Party.
In January 1992 to November 1993 he was a deputy Chairman of the External Relations Committee of the Saint Petersburg Mayor Office led by Vladimir Putin.
From November 3, 1993, to November 30, 1998, Zubkov was the Chief of the Saint Petersburg Department of the State Tax Inspection and simultaneously a Deputy Chairman of the State Tax Inspection for Saint Petersburg.
In December 1998, during the term of Yevgeny Primakov's Cabinet the State Tax Inspection was reorganized into the Tax Ministry of Russia and Zubkov's deputy head position was abolished, but he was immediately reappointed Chief of the Saint Petersburg Directorate of the Tax Ministry. On July 23, 1999, Zubkov was appointed Deputy Tax Minister of Russia for the Northwestern region. In a few days he was also appointed Chief of the Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast Directorate of the Tax Ministry.
On August 12, 1999, he was registered as a contender in the Leningrad Oblast governor election, assisted by Boris Gryzlov as his election campaign manager, but lost the election to Valery Serdyukov on September 19, 1999, with 8.64 percent of the vote (4th place out of 16).
On November 5, 2001, he left his positions in the Tax Ministry and was appointed First Deputy Finance Minister of Russia and Chairman of the Financial Monitoring Committee of the ministry, aimed to fight money laundering.
On March 16, 2004, after the dismissal of Mikhail Kasyanov's Cabinet, the Financial Monitoring Committee was renamed to Federal Financial Monitoring Service of the Finance Ministry, but Zubkov retained his position in Mikhail Fradkov's First Cabinet and Mikhail Fradkov's Second Cabinet.
In a 2006 survey of political experts, Zubkov was ranked as Russia's 84th most influential politician.
Zubkov's daughter is married to Anatoliy Serdyukov, the Russian Defense Minister.
Tenure as Prime Minister
Some political analysts consider the promotion of Zubkov as possibly Putin's choice of successor to the post of President. If so, this would follow a precedent established by then-President Boris Yeltsin, who appointed Putin as Prime Minister on August 9, 1999, then resigned on the last day of 1999, appointing Putin in his stead. Others, in turn, view Zubkov as one more technical Prime Minister, interpreting the move as a way to renew a competition between possible successors. Putin has said that there are five people who can run for president and can be elected, including Zubkov. On September 13, Zubkov himself said he may run for President of Russia next year.