Dmitry Zimin

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Dmitry Borisovich Zimin
Дмитрий Зимин.jpg
Dmitry Zimin at The Russia Forum 2012
Born (1933-04-28) 28 April 1933 (age 88)
Alma materMoscow Aviation Institute (MAI)
  • Scientist
  • businessman
  • philanthropist

Dmitry Borisovich Zimin (Russian: Дмитрий Борисович Зимин; born April 28, 1933, Moscow, USSR) is a Russian radio scientist and businessman, founder and honorary president of VimpelCom. Since his retirement in the early 2000s he has become known as a philanthropist. He founded the Dynasty Foundation and the Zimin Foundation.

Early life and education[edit]

Dmitry Zimin graduated from Moscow secondary school number 59. In high school he became engaged in radio engineering. In 1950, he entered the Faculty of Radio Electronics of the Aircraft of the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI), from where he graduated in 1957.[1] Then he secured the position of an engineer in the Problem Laboratory of MAI, organized under Mikhail Neumann.[2]

Career in science and technology[edit]

In 1962, Zimin was invited to work in the Radio Technical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. For more than thirty-five years he held managerial positions at this institute: he was the head of the laboratory, then for fourteen years, the head of the scientific department, and then the director of the center for the development of radio equipment.[2]

Zimin got his PhD degree in 1963 and the post-doctoral degree in 1984. As a researcher of phased antenna arrays, he was appointed deputy chief designer of the Don-2N radar. In total, he published over 100 scientific works and inventions.[2]


In the last years of the USSR, there was a sharp reduction in the defense contracts for the Radio Technical Institute. In March 1991, Zimin founded a private commercial enterprise "KB Impulse". It hired the technical experts who worked at the Institute and specialized in communication systems.[2]

In 1991 Zimin organized a group of technical experts within the Radio Technical Institute for development of cellular telephone communications. At the initial stage, an American cellular equipment manufacturer and operator owned by Fabela family was invited as a partner.[3] In 1992 the joint-stock company "Vimpel-Communications" (VimpelCom) was established, with Zimin as President and General Director. Zimin managed the operational activity of the company, while his partner Augie K. Fabela II contributed equipment and money and managed sales and marketing. Soon VimpelCom launched a pilot AMPS station in Moscow.[4]

The company became successful, and In 1996 it became the first Russian company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, which required the degree of transparency uncommon for the Russian companies at that time.[4]

In 2001, at the age of 68, Dmitry Zimin sold his controlling stake in VimpelCom and left the position of general director of the company. He was honored the title of the Founder and Honorary President of the company.[4]

In 2001 Zimin was awarded the “Business-Olympus” prize in the nomination “Business Reputation”.[5] Russian edition of Forbes magazine rated Dmitry Zimin as 63rd richest person in Russia in 2004 and 52nd in 2005.

Post-VimpelCom business activity[edit]

Zimin is investing to various enterprises.[6] In 2019, BMT Private Equity, founded by Zimin, bought the Russian carsharing company BelkaCar.[7]

Dynasty Foundation[edit]

Since his retirement, Dmitry Zimin devoted most of his time and wealth to philanthropic activities, mainly facilitated through his Dynasty Foundation in Russia.

The Foundation's priorities were the development of fundamental scientific research and education in Russia, creating conditions so that scientists can research and teach at home in Russia, the popularization of science and civic education.[8] The foundation was the first private Russian nonprofit foundation supporting science and education in modern Russia. It ran projects for the support and popularization of science and the development of formal and civic education. These included programs that supported gifted schoolchildren, future scientists, young physicists, mathematicians, biologists, and teachers[9][10]

Zimin was awarded the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in 2013, the first Russian philanthropist to win the award. In February 2015, he received the "For Fidelity to Science" award from the Russian Federation's Ministry of Education and Science.[11] Minor planet 315493 Zimin is named after Dmitry Zimin.

In 2015, Dynasty was included by Russian Ministry of Justice in the list of “foreign agents”. Zimin closed the foundation.[12][13][14][15][16][17] A number of scientists and public figures condemned the position of the Ministry of Justice regarding the fund, considering the decision to be bureaucratic and unfair.[18][19]

Zimin continued his philanthropic activities through the Zimin Foundation. In Russia it supports the Enlightener Prize, the Independent University of Moscow, and other projects. International projects supported by the Zimin Foundation in public health care, science, education, and culture include Ariel University (Israel),[20] The School of Molecular and Theoretical Biology, Tel-Aviv University (Israel),[21] and others.


Dmitry Zimin has one son, Boris.[22]


  1. ^ "Выпускники МАИ — руководители структур современной экономики". Archived from the original on 2018-12-11. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  2. ^ a b c d "Biography - Dmitry Zimin". Finparty (in Russian). Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Дмитрий Зимин, основатель "Вымпелкома": Я надеялся, что Медведев будет бороться". 2011-11-17. Archived from the original on 2018-12-24. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  4. ^ a b c Shekshnia, Stanislav V.; Fabela II, Augie K. (2004). "VimpelCom: From Startup to the New York Stock Exchange". Corporate Governance in Russia. Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 287–299. ISBN 9781781958216.
  5. ^ "Лауреат премии Бизнес-Олимп Зимин Дмитрий Борисович". РАБИП (in Russian). Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  6. ^ Мухаметшина, Елена; Филатов, Антон (2015-09-10). "Дмитрий Зимин инвестирует в строительство аутлета в Финляндии". Vedomosti (in Russian). Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Основанная Дмитрием Зиминым компания стала основным владельцем каршеринга BelkaCar". Vedomosti (in Russian). 2019-10-31. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  8. ^ "Дело закрыто: как основатели российских компаний выходили из бизнеса". Archived from the original on 2018-12-24. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  9. ^ "Interview - Dmitry Zimin". Archived from the original on 2018-12-24. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  10. ^ "DIMITRY ZIMIN". Archived from the original on 2017-06-26. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  11. ^ Климачева, Инна. "Всероссийская премия "За верность науке". Досье". TASS (in Russian). Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Основатель "Династии" Дмитрий Зимин заявил о прекращении финансирования фонда". Archived from the original on 2018-11-14. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  13. ^ "Dmitry Zimin plans to stop financing Dynasty Foundation". 2015-05-26. Archived from the original on 2018-11-14. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  14. ^ "Dmitry Zimin stops financing Dynasty Foundation | Society | RusLetter". Archived from the original on 2018-11-14. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  15. ^ "Russia Cracks Down on Charities". The New Yorker. 2015-05-30. Archived from the original on 2018-10-10. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  16. ^ "A Friend to Russian Science, but an Enemy to the Government". Archived from the original on 2018-11-14. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  17. ^ Harding, Luke (2015-07-08). "Russian science foundation shuts down after being branded 'foreign agent'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2018-10-19. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  18. ^ "Dmitry Zimin: Russian for Philanthropy". 2017-11-09. Archived from the original on 2018-09-20. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  19. ^ "Бороться с властью, чтобы инвестировать в мою страну, для меня неприемлемо". 2016-03-15. Archived from the original on 2018-11-14. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  20. ^ "В университете Ариэля открыта лаборатория имени Дмитрия Зимина | IT Business Week Israel". Archived from the original on 2018-08-09. Retrieved 2018-09-18.
  21. ^ "Zimin Institute for Novel Engineering Solutions Inaugurated". Archived from the original on 2018-11-15. Retrieved 2019-03-13.
  22. ^ Карцев, Дмитрий (2015). "Загадка Зимина". Кот Шрёдингера (in Russian). Retrieved 21 March 2020.