Sergey Darkin was born on December, 9, 1963 in the town of Bolshoi Kamen in Primorsky Krai. In 1985 he graduated from Far Eastern Higher Engineering Marine School named after Nevelskoy, and then completed his post-graduate studies. He worked in the commercial harbour of Vladivostok.
In 1989 he was the deputy director of the organizational activities at a joint stock company Dalleasing.
In 1991 he founded and headed the company Roliz (abbreviation from “Russian leasing”). He directed it until elected governor of Primorsky Krai.
In 1998 he headed the board of directors of Ussuri Maslozhirkombinat, a company that went bankrupt.
In December 1998 he became president of Primorye bank.
In 1999 he graduated from Far Eastern State Academy of Economics and Management, majoring in Finance and Credit
On February, 6, 2001 the former governor Yevgeny Nazdratenko resigned. He then supported Darkin at subsequent elections.
On June, 17, 2001 during the election of the governor of Primorye Krai the highest number of votes was for Darkin.
On June, 25, 2001 he took the oath at an extraordinary session of the Duma of Primorye and officially took office as governor of Primorsky Krai.
On January, 22, 2005 after a meeting with President Vladimir Putin he turned to the President with the question of confidence.
On January, 31, 2005 Putin recommended him as candidate for governor of the region. The decision of the Legislative Assembly reconfirmed the position of governor of Primorsky Krai.
On January, 5, 2010, President Dmitry Medvedev nominated Darkin for approval by Primorye Parliament as governor.
On January, 11, 2010 the parliament approved Darkin as head of the region.
According to official data on income for 2010, Darkin earned 3.5 million rubles and his wife earned 1.7 billion rubles.
He is in his second marriage. His wife is Larisa Belobrova, actress of local Drama Theatre. He has three daughters.
In June 2001, during the gubernatorial elections in the Primorsky Krai, there were rumours that one of the candidates, businessman Sergey Darkin, had previously been closely associated with the criminals. The media reported that among the local criminals Darkin allegedly was known by the nickname Darych. However, the UVD of Primorsky Krai made an official statement that it had no information about Darkin that would compromise his reputation.
In 2002 several broadcasts of Moment of Truth TV-show hosted by the journalist Andrey Karaulov reported about Darkin’s involvement in questionable business transactions. Moment of Truth broadcast video footage made in the early 1990s, which, as Karaulov explained, showed a party of well-known Primorsk crime bosses and Darkin (those at the parties addressed Darkin as Seryoga Shepelyavyi).
The governor said that the incriminating footage was a frame up and sent a defamation claim to Leninsky district court of Vladivostok. On October, 8, 2003 the court ruled that the allegations concerning Darkin being involved with the underworld were not true. Karaulov had to pay Darkin 300 thousand rubles for moral damage.
Source: Kommersant, 09 October 2003
On January, 22, 2005, after yet another private meeting with Putin, Darkin addressed him with the issue of confidence. Head of Primorye Administration was the first of all regional leaders to use the right granted to governors by the new law to change the order of election of heads of Russian Federation regions. This law came into effect on January, 1, 2005. On January, 31, 2005 Putin nominates Darkin as governor of Primorye.
Source: Vedomosti, 01 February 2005
In September 2005 for the first time during the years of service as head of the region Darkin harshly criticized the federal government and the State Duma. At an off-site session of the Budget Committee of the Federation Council governor of Primorye said that because of measures proposed by the Duma and the government the cost of utilities in Primorye would increase by 30%, this would not improve the situation of housing and communal complex of the region due to rising oil prices. Darkin also condemned the decision of the State Duma on the introduction of the transitional period as part of the federal law number 131 "On local self-government”, stressing that the decision could lead to chaos in the management of the region.
Source: Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 27 September 2005
In November 2005 Darkin advocated in favour of car owners who protested against a hidden price increase for used Japanese cars. Large protests were held throughout the Far East. Primorye Governor promised to protect the interests of the region’s residents and urged the automobile business to express their dissatisfaction in a civilized manner, that is, appealing to courts. As a result, tariffs on used cars were not increased.
Source: Ann, 16 November 2005
On May, 14, 2008, several days after the new president's inauguration, Darkin was summoned for questioning by the prosecutor of Primorye in connection with the investigation in Vladivostok of a criminal case upon illegal privatization in the region, instituted against Igor Meshcheryakov, acting head of the Rosimushchestvo Primorsky regional branch. The governor’s house and office were searched.
The next day the governor was hospitalized with a diagnosis of near stroke state. However, he spent a little more than a day in a Vladivostok hospital. Then his wheelchair was loaded into an ambulance and he left the hospital. After that he went to Moscow. During the absence of Darkin in the region his duties were assigned to the First Vice-Governor Aleksander Kostenko.
Source: Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 19 May 2008
On May, 31, 2008 Primorye law enforcement agencies raided the office of Vladivostok Roliz CJSC. Darkin was the former head of the company. On June, 4, 2008 within the investigation into the illegal privatization law enforcement officers carried out a seizure of documents in a commercial bank Primorye, a large stake in which belonged to the wife of the governor. However, already on June 7 Peter Savchuk, head of Primorye region branch of United Russia, made a statement that the search of Darkin’s former firm had nothing to do with politics. On June 14of that year Darkin returned to Vladivostok. Two days later he took up his duties once again.
Source: Interfax, 14 June 2008
Larissa Belobrova, the wife of Sergey Darkin, the governor of Primorye, is an actress at Primorsky regional Academic Drama Theatre named after Gorky, and has a record income. According to her tax return, her income for 2010 amounted to 1,072,992,892 rubles. The governor's wife is also the owner of the land area of more than 5 hectares, two-bedroom apartments of 30 square metres, and of a dacha that is about 500 square meters. She also owns two cars Toyota Land Cruiser. Her revenues are growing significantly. In 2009 she reported earnings of 540 million rubles.
Judging by the Forbes rating of the richest actors and actresses, this Russian actress makes two times less money than the absolute leader on the list, Johnny Depp, and more than such stars as Leonardo di Caprio, Cameron Diaz, and Jennifer Aniston.
Source: NewsLand, 07 June 2011