Born on January 6, 1954 in the village Uyandyk in Ilishevskii district, in Bashkir ASSR (Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic). In 1975 he graduated from the Engineering Department of the Ufa Institute of Petroleum (UNI) majoring in chemical technology of oil and gas refining. In 1988 he graduated from the mountain faculty of UNI specializing in mining engineering on technology and complex mechanization of oil and gas field development. Since 1975 - the operator of dehydrating and demineralization plant in Oil-and-gas production department of “Tuymazaneft” of the Production Association “Bashneft”. Then - a specialist, technologist, the head of the installation, a senior technologist of the shop floor on training and oil pumping. In 1980 he was transferred to Surgut, in Tyumen region and worked as a senior engineer of the shop floor on training and oil pumping NGDU "Fedorovskneft" Glavtyumenneftegas of the Ministry of Oil Industry.
From 1981 to 1985 – the deputy head of NGDU “Povhneft” of the Production Association “Bashneft” (city Kogalym).
Since 1985 – the head of Central Engineering and technical service of gas producing administration "Povhneft". From 1985 to 1987 - the Chief Engineer – the deputy head of Oil and Gas Administration "Vareganneft" of the Production Association “Bashneft”.
From 1987 to 1990 – the head of NGDU “Kogalymneft”. From 1990 to 1992 - the chief engineer of the Production Association "Kogalymneftegaz”. Since 1992 – the vice-president of the oil concern “Langepas-Urai Kogalymneft ".
Since 1993 – the First Vice-President of Commerce, a member of the Board of Directors of JSC "Lukoil". Since 1998 – the Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of CJSC Neftekhim (Nizhegorodskii region).
Since 2001 – the president of "LUKOIL-Europe Holding”.
In June 2002, Ralif Safin leaves his post and becomes the representative of the Altai Republic from El Kurultai deputy corps in the Federation Council. It is possible that this new post will become for Mr. Safin the first stepping stone to the presidency of the republic of Bashkortostan.
He was awarded two medals.
Daughter - pop singer Alsou. He has got a son.
During his entire career Safin has been surrounded by lots of rumors and was in the center of not very large, but noisy scandals.
A lot of rumors in mass media around Safin were about his daughter, pop singer Alsou. They wrote that he had invested in her promotion several million dollars.
In May 2002 there was a rumor in mass media that Safin was dismissed from the post of the vice-president of “Lukoil” because of the problems with alcohol. It was reported that he sabotaged the important negotiations, instructions from president Vagit Alekperov, made financial embezzlement. In fact, this news was a canard.
Source: "Utro.Ru" from 29.05.2002
It is possible that the rumors of Safin’s resignation were related to the fact that he was going to run for president of the Bashkir Republic, replacing Burtaze Rakhimov in December 2002.
Source: "Newspaper" from 29.05.2002
Safin had good relations with Rakhimov: the latter wanted to appoint him to the post of the prime minister in February 2002 and positioned him as his successor, but Ural, Rakhimov’s son, the Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov and another possible Rakhimov’s successor Engels Kulmuhametov were against this appointment.
Safin also used the support of the Tatarstan President Mintimir Shaimiev, who had power in Bashkiria.
Source: “APN”, from 27.05.2002
The media reported that the administration of the republic tried to find out from Safin his willingness to the political career. Safin could be interested in the post of the president of Bashkiria for economical reasons - automatically he could get control over the Bashkir industry, including the fuel and energy complex.
Source: "Gazeta" from 29.05.2002
Safin’s intentions to run for president of Bashkiria were also refuted in Lukoil. According to company representatives, some political forces in Bashkiria were interested in the rumors about Safin’s dismissal, as they would prevent the participation of third-party candidates in the elections.
Another version of rumors was associated with Alsou Safina. Shortly before the rumors, a pop singer changed her producer. A former producer Valery Belotserkovsky was not pleased with it. A spokesman of the singer Natalia Zhuravleva expressed an opinion that the text for one of the articles about Safin’s dismissal were written in the style of show business. This was a clear hint at Belotserkovsky.
It is worthy of note, that the day before the canard, the fire broke out in the house of Safin in Barvikha.
Source: "Kommersant» № 91 (2460) from 30.05.2002
In November 2002, Safin became the center of the scandal in Gorno-Altaisk. He was accused of causing multimillion damage to Altai nature by constructing the new guest complex. Safin became the representative of the Federation Council shortly before this, in June, and he immediately started the construction in the valley of the river Katun. The construction was run by the company LLC "Glencore", founded by the former owner of the bank "Gorny Altay" Rashid Gubaidullin. It was he who organized the Safin’s visit to the republic shortly before the election. After this visit, Yuri Antaradonov, the representative of El-Kurultai in the Federation Council unexpectedly resigned, and then Safin was elected.
Construction of the guest complex was carried out with the violation of the law. In forestry of Maiminsky region, where the construction was carried out, it was believed that the company LLC "Glencore" willfully occupied the forest, which protected the spawning grounds of valuable fish species, was engaged in illegal deforestation, tearing trees with their roots.
Source: "Kommersant» № 204 (2573) from 12.11.2002
The original idea of constructing the guest house was connected with the governor of Altai Republic Mikhail Lapshin. He wanted to attract financial resources to the Republic, to establish different productions. But there was no place to accommodate businessmen in mountainous terrain. That is why Lapshin turned to Safin with a request to build a hotel. He also pointed the place to Safin where to build it.
On the fact of illegal deforestation while constructing the hotel, the criminal case was initiated according to the Article 260 of the Criminal Code ("Illegal deforestation"). According to Safin, he did not touch the trees, and even bought cedar seedlings to plant the avenue.
Source: Kommersant »№ 216 (2585) from 28.11.2002
In 2003, Safin actually ran for president of Bashkiria, and then there was a "yellow" scandal. Voters complained that Safin was engaged in bribery. The reason for recourse to the court was free concerts of Alsou, which were not paid by Safin from the electoral budget, and the distribution of free cassettes. Safin himself linked the treatment of the voters with the fact that, despite the friendly relations with Murtaza Rakhimov, he faced stiff resistance from the leadership of Bashkiria, and according to his words, was forced to defend his rights. Along with the presidential candidate Hassan Idiyatullin, he appealed to the Supreme Court to withdraw Rakhimov from the elections because of his official status usage in the election campaign.
Source: "Kommersant» № 208 (2811) from 14.11.2003
Compromising rumors were used during the election campaign. The local television showed the programme, stating that Alsou was pregnant.
Source: Kommersant № 212 (2815) from 20.11.2003
Safin announced that this programme was biased by the republic leaders.
Source: “Rosbalt” from 19.11.2003
In the pre-election confrontation between Rakhimov and Safin with another candidate, Andrei Veremeenko, who combined their efforts, there were numerous failures in the registration, withdrawal of candidates, wiretapping, and printing of telephone calls conversations, fake voting papers, rumors, and trials.
In December 2003, Safin with Veremeyenko reported to the police that the voting papers were illegally printed in the printing office "Mir Pechati". They reported that when their representatives were trying to enter the building, the fire suddenly broke out. When police arrived, the fire ceased, but some fake voting papers had not burned.
The prosecutor's office for Safin’s appeal initiated a criminal case according to Article 142 part 3 of the Criminal Code (illegal manufacturing, possession, distribution of voting papers) and 167 (destruction of the property by burning). In the administration of Rakhimov, in whose favor, according to Safin, the voting papers had been printed, described it as the provocation of the opposition,
Source: “Vremya Novostei” from 05.12.2003
Another scandal was the refusal to Safin in the free broadcasting time at the Bashkir television. Presidential candidates were given 4 minutes and 50 seconds, but Safin was denied, because as the study of records showed, phrases that offended the dignity of the acting president were allegedly found. When Safin wanted to buy the broadcasting time, he had been denied without explanation. After this, the Safin’s agitators tried to run broadcasts on the streets of Ufa at “Lukoil” gas stations.
Source: "Kommersant» № 222 (2825) from 04.12.2003
After the first round of elections Safin, who took the third place, had initiated a lawsuit in the Supreme Court, in which he claimed about violations in the counting of votes in some electoral districts.
However, just before the second round of elections Vladimir Putin demonstrated his support to Rakhimov, Safin has voluntarily relinquished the claim. Safin said he did not want to irritate neither Rakhimov, nor Putin.
Source: "Kommersant» № 20 (2859) from 05.02.2004
In April 2006, when Safin was re-elected the senator from the Altai parliament, protesters, young athletes expressed their protest against Safin under the walls of the State Assembly of the Republic of Altai. Officials expressed the opinion that a former representative of the Republic by the President of Russia Alexander Manzyrov, who has longed for the senatorial seat, could be the organizer of the picket. The protesters handed out the articles about the wedding of Alsou, where it was reported that Safin had spent $ 15 million on it, while the sport in the country was in distress.
Source: Kommersant (Novosibirsk) № 59 (3390) from 05.04.2006
A few days later protesters have asked the senator for forgiveness, telling him that they were promised a thousand rubles, but they do not know the organizers.
Source: Kommersant (Novosibirsk) № 70 (3401) from 20.04.2006
In that same month, another scandal broke out: at a press conference in Gorno-Altaisk, Safin publicly accused his colleague in the Council of Federation, the former head of Altai Mikhail Lapshin of theft and that his relatives were involved in frauds.
Safin said he could build houses after the earthquake of 2003 for less amount of money than Lapshin finally did. Safin said that, when in 2002 he became a senator, he bought two three-room apartments to Lapshin. Though, he did not explain what made him change his attitude.
But the whole thing was about the following events. In the spring of 2004 a conversation in which Lapshin offered someone to buy his senate seat was recorded and published. Safin did not give comments then. He could feel free about his chair as he was supported by the Altai parliament. But when there was a new calling, his position became very unstable as an alternative candidate emerged.
Apparently, Safin thought in this situation that he overpaid Lapshin in his time. However, Safin didn’t worry in vain, shortly after he was re-elected.
Source: "Kommersant» № 67 (3398) from 15.04.2006
Lapshin decided to make Safin apologize in public at the Federation Council meeting. Lapshin told the press that Safin had personally told him that publications with his accusations are a lie, and if Safin repeats it in public, Lapshin won’t go to the court. As a result, the scandal was hushed up, and there was no trial.
Source: Kommersant (Omsk) № 74 (3405) from 26.04.2006
In November 2006 LLC “Shakhtoupravlenie (i.e. Mining Administration) “Maiskoye”, controlled by Safin, bought one of the largest deposits of power-generating coal in Russia "The Field of mine "Maiskaya" at the auction after the first step. The fight for such an asset must have been severe, but this did not happen.
The largest power-generating coal mining company in the country "Siberian Coal Energy Company (SUEK), represented by JSC IK “Sokolovskaya” and another major player of the coal market - "Siberian Business Union (SDS), represented by CJSC "Salek".
The first company didn’t make a payment for participation in time, the second one was not allowed because of an error during application period. According to the informal version, the results were predetermined in advance, as Safin reached an agreement about it with the regional governor Aman Tuleyev.
Source: "Kommersant» № 218 (3549) from 22.11.2006
But soon “Siberian Business Union” (SDS) bought LLC “Shakhtoupravlenie (i.e. Mining Administration) “Maiskoye ". SDS didn’t abandon its intentions to get the plot, and after the auction Safin walked towards them.
Source: Kommersant (Novosibirsk) № 222 (3553) from 28.11.2006
In 2008, Safin got interested in the largest coal enterprises of the Kemerovo region "Marr-TEK, the Governor Aman Tuleyev approved his intentions to invest in coal industry.
Source: Kommersant (Novosibirsk) № 58 (3875) from 08.04.2008
When Safin got "Marr-TEK, the company launched a plant for manufacturing buses and trucks "KuzbassAvto" based on "Hyundai" in the Kemerovo region. Two previous similar attempts to establish car production in the area were not successful.
Source: Kommersant (Novosibirsk) № 66 (4364) from 15.04.2010
Among Safin’s "hobbies" are the financing of the football club "Spartak". To be more precise,
“Lukoil” subsidiaries financed the football club, whose activities were controlled by Safin, according to the rumors. According to the talks behind the scenes, the official manager of "Spartak" is Andrei Chervichenko - just a covering for Safin.
Source: "Stringer" in November 2001, (this issue was not printed)
Among the yellow rumors was his extramarital relationship with pop singer Elena Belousova.
Source: "Express Gazeta" from 30.04.2003