How Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev spun his web over Monaco

By and Michel Henry

When Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev took control of AS Monaco in 2011, he had not only offered himself a football club, he had secured himself a base from where he began spinning a web of influence in the Riviera micro-state, including around Monaco’s royal family. In this second of a seven-part series of investigations into the oligarch’s activities, Mediapart lifts the lid on a developing scandal shaking the Rock.

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Monaco is a small world, a micro-state where secrecy, privilege and exclusive relations have been practiced for decades. Dmitry Rybolovlev understood this very well, and used his purchase in 2011 of the locally sacred football club AS Monaco to provide a base from which he was able to spin a web of influence all the way to the top of ‘the Rock’, the site of the royal palace.