Born February 25, 1953 in Nikolaevsk-on-Amur, Khabarovsk territory.
1978, graduated from the Kharkov Law Institute (in the then Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic).
1997-2000, deputy prosecutor general of the Russian Federation, simultaneously (1998-1999) head of the Prosecutor General Office’s Chief Directorate in the North Caucasus.
July 1999-May 2000, acting prosecutor general of the Russian Federation.
May 17, 2000, upon his inauguration as president, Vladimir Putin nominated Ustinov as prosecutor general, and the Federation Council endorsed the appointment on the same day.
June 1, 2006 - resigned as prosecutor general
2006- 2008, he was Russia's Minister of Justice.
He currently is the Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Southern Federal District (one of the eight federal districts of Russia).
Married, with a son and a daughter.
His son Dmitry married Inga Sechina, a daughter of Igor Sechin, on 22 November 2003.