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Mohammad Zahoor

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Mohammad Zahoor
محمد ظہور
Mohammad Zahoor wearing a light blue checkered suit jacket with a white shirt underneath and a paisley pocket square, leaning on a post, smiling, and looking right of camera
Zahoor in 2017
Born (1955-08-01) 1 August 1955 (age 68)
Alma materDonetsk National Technical University
  • Businessman
  • philanthropist
(m. 2003)

Mohammad Zahoor (born 1 August 1955) is a Ukraine-based British-Pakistani businessman and philanthropist. He is the founder and owner of the ISTIL Group, a diversified trading company that included a steel mill in Donetsk, which he sold in 2009 for between US$700 million and US$1 billion; a former owner of the Kyiv Post, which he sold for approximately $5 million;[citation needed] and a co-founder of the Ukrainian YUNA music awards.[1]

Since the beginning of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Zahoor has mobilized funds and aid to evacuate Ukrainian refugees to the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. He has reportedly bought two fighter jets for the Ukrainian military, and has continued to meet with various heads of state and other influential figures to ensure safe passage for Ukrainian refugees.[2][3][4]

Early life


Zahoor was born to a Sindhi family in Karachi, Pakistan. His father was in the Pakistani Civil Service.

He attended Junior & Senior Model School in Karachi. Then moved on to DJ Science College. During his first year at NED University of Engineering and Technology in 1974, he received a scholarship to pursue higher education in the Soviet Union.[5] Zahoor studied metallurgy at Donetsk National Technical University (then Donetsk Polytechnic Institute) in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic; he later obtained his PhD from the same university in 2007.[6] When he concluded his education in Donetsk, he had a five-year commitment to work at Pakistan Steel.[7]



After earning his PhD from Donetsk National Technical University, Zahoor moved back to Pakistan to work at Pakistan Steel as a safety engineer.[8] In 1987, he moved to Moscow where he entered a partnership with a Thai steelmaker and ran Metalsrussia, a Hong Kong-registered trading company.[9]

In 1996, Zahoor bought Donetsk Steel Mill. He bought other steel mills in various countries.[9][10]

In 2008, Zahoor sold Donetsk Steel Mill to Russian parliamentarian Vadim Varshavsky, for a sum believed to be around $1 billion.[11][9]

In 2009, Zahoor bought the Kyiv Leipzig Hotel for $36 million.[6] That year he bought Ukraine's oldest English language newspaper, the Kyiv Post, for $1.1 million from its founder, American-born Jed Sunden.[11] In 2018, he sold the Kyiv Post to Syrian Adnan Kivan for $3.5 million.[12]

Zahoor was interviewed by the Financial Times on the economic situation in Ukraine, specifically the prospects for inward investment.[13][14]

Zahoor contributed to the Huffington Post on topics relating to Ukrainian/Russian economics and politics.[15]

Personal life


In 2003, Zahoor married Ukrainian singer Kamaliya.[16] They have two twin daughters, Mirabella and Arabella.[17] He has a daughter, Tanya, and a son, Arman, from his first marriage.[18]


At the yearly charity event 4th St. Nicholas Charity Night in Ukraine, together with Ignace Meuwissen[19]
Awarding the Ukrainian bands Pianoboy and Morphom for best duet at YUNA 2018[20]

Zahoor takes part in many different projects, in Ukraine and abroad. He donated to the restoration of the Odesa State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, a building in a university in Taxila, (North Pakistan), and the Cardiac Research Center in Pakistan. Zahoor supports sport teams and the Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine.[21]

He and Kamaliya founded the Kamaliya and Mohammad Zahoor Charitable Foundation to help children in need. The foundation organizes annual charity nights to raise money. Since 2015 the Foundation is supported by his close Friend Ignace Meuwissen.

In 2017, during the annual charity event 4th St. Nicholas Charity Night in Kyiv, Ukraine, $50,000 was raised through auction and ticket sales for buying 10 Drager Siemens Infinity Delta XL patient monitors for the State Children’s Cardiac Center in Kyiv.[19]

In 2011, Zahoor became the co-founder of the Ukrainian Music Awards (YUNA).[22]

He supported sports initiatives. ISTIL was the official partner and general sponsor of the Ukrainian Hockey Federation, financing the national, youth and junior hockey teams of Ukraine. The company provided the necessary assistance for the development of the Academy women's handball team. Mohammad Zahoor also organizes and sponsors an annual summer cricket tournament for foreigners living in Ukraine."

In the media


In 2013, Zahoor and Kamaliya appeared on Meet the Russians, a British reality show produced by FOX TV about wealthy Russians who live in London, England.[23][24]


  1. ^ Oehmke, Philipp (16 August 2013). "Bought this Way: Oligarch Wants to Make Wife Next Gaga". Der Spiegel – via Spiegel Online.
  2. ^ "Pakistani billionaire buys fighter jets for Ukraine, his famous wife says". Newsweek. 18 May 2022.
  3. ^ "Russia-Ukraine crisis: Meet the British-Pakistani billionaire helping evacuate refugees to UK, Europe".
  4. ^ "'We have to take sides': Pakistani billionaire from Kyiv calls for support for Ukraine". 9 March 2022.
  5. ^ "'کیئو کا ارب پتی شہزادہ': پاکستانی لڑکا جو یوکرین کا 'سٹیل کنگ' بنا". BBC News اردو (in Urdu). Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  6. ^ a b U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Mohammad Zahoor: Waiting for the good times
  7. ^ "MOHAMMAD ZAHOOR: WAITING FOR THE GOOD TIMES - U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)". 11 June 2016. Archived from the original on 11 June 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2024.
  8. ^ "Pakistan's Mohammad Zahoor: The man who once ruled the press in Ukraine". India Today. 25 February 2022. Retrieved 30 April 2024.
  9. ^ a b c "The Pakistani press prince of Kiev". 10 September 2015. It's Zahoor, Ukraine's richest expat, a "minigarch" worth about $1 billion (some say), and the owner of the Kyiv Post.
  10. ^ "Mohammad the Oligarch". Newsweek. 17 December 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Richest Expats: Mohammad Zahoor - Oct. 08, 2010". 8 October 2010. If anyone knows of another expatriate worth between $500 million and $1 billion, the estimated size of Zahoor's fortune, please let us know and we will set the record straight.
  12. ^ "Zahoor sells Kyiv Post for at least $3.5 million to Adnan Kivan, Syrian millionaire in Odesa - KyivPost". 21 March 2018.
  13. ^ Intelligence, fDi. "Istil Group rides out Ukrainian turbulence". www.fdiintelligence.com.
  14. ^ "Investment opportunities in Ukraine emerge amid political crisis". Financial Times. 7 May 2015.
  15. ^ "How Ukraine Can Begin to Move Forward". 4 July 2014.
  16. ^ "Zahoor's wife, Kamaliya, has her own ambitions - Aug. 06, 2009". 6 August 2009.
  17. ^ "Bundles of joy for Mohammad & Kamaliya Zahoor - Sep. 09, 2013". KyivPost. 9 September 2013.
  18. ^ "Мохаммад Захур - ФОКУС". ФОКУС. 29 March 2013.
  19. ^ a b "Kamaliya's 4th St. Nicholas Charity Night raises $50,000 for children's cardiac center – KyivPost". 8 December 2017.
  20. ^ Korrespondent.net. "Названы победители YUNA 2018".
  21. ^ "Захур Мохаммад".
  22. ^ "В Україні встановлено музичну премію YUNA" (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  23. ^ Hoyle, Ben (3 August 2013). "London's Russian jet set stars in reality TV show" – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
  24. ^ Wallace, Danny (4 March 2014). "Danny Wallace: Blingski Korsakov".