Born May 21, 1955 in Chadan, in the then Tuva Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (now the Republic of Tuva).
Graduated in 1977 from Krasnoyarsk Polytechnic Institute, where he majored in construction engineering. Subsequently received a graduate degree in economics.
1977-1978, worked as a foreman at the Promkhimstroi Chemical Trust in Krasnoyarsk.
1977-1979, foreman and then department head at the Tuvinstroi Construction Trust in the town of Kyzyl.
1979-1984, construction supervisor, then chief engineer, then director of the Achinskaluminiystroi Trust.
1984-1985, deputy chief of the Sayanalumistroi Aluminum Trust in the town of Sayanogorsk.
1986-1988, headed the Sayantyazhstroy facility in Abakan, as well as heading a railway car manufacturing facility in Abakan; was elected as the deputy head of the local Communist Party.
1989-1990, inspector for the Communist Party organization of the vast Krasnoyarsk territory.
1990-1991, deputy chief of Russia’s State Committee for Architecture and Construction.
In 1991 headed the Russian Rescue Corps, and was also appointed as the head of the State Committee for Emergencies
1991-1994, chairman of the State Committee of the Russian Federation for Civil Defense and Emergencies and Natural Disasters.
1993, appointed head of Russia’s commission for the observation of the UN International Decade to Reduce the Danger of Natural Disasters, as well as chairman of a commission for training and assisting rescue groups.
1994-present, emergencies minister of the Russian Federation.
Co-chairman of the United Russia political party.
Member of the Security Council since 1994.
Military rank: Colonel-General