Dmitry Rybolovlev, the man who wanted to offer himself a country

By and Michel Henry

Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev bought football club AS Monaco in December 2011. But the man whose assets include a Greek island, luxurious properties worldwide including a Palm Beach mansion bought from Donald Trump, an Airbus, and a vast collection of artworks, had set his eyes on offering himself much more – namely, a country. This investigation is the first in a series of seven Mediapart reports into the activities of the oligarch, based partly on documents from the Football Leaks data files.

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He has access to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and he bought a Palm Beach mansion for an eye-watering sum ten years ago from Donald Trump when the latter was short of finance. His fortune is estimated by Forbes magazine at 6.8 billion dollars (Forbes places him as 242nd richest person in the world), although some well-informed estimates put his wealth at double that amount. His assets on public record include islands, multiple properties worldwide, an Airbus plane, luxury vehicles and a vast collection of artworks.