Czech Michal Strnad becomes billionaire due to Russian-Ukrainian war
Michal Strnad (Photo by Czechoslovak Group)

Michal Strnad, a Czech citizen, has become a billionaire as a result of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. His father started a business in the 1990s repairing combat vehicles, and Strnad has continued to develop it by restoring the combat capability of Soviet tanks, according to Bloomberg.

Excalibur Army, the largest and most profitable asset of Czechoslovak Group, repairs old Soviet-era tanks, including those for Ukraine. Since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Michal Strnad's business has experienced its highest demand since the end of the Cold War. Excalibur's revenue has tripled since 2021, reaching €1.73 billion.

Czechoslovak Group already has about 300 T-72 battle tanks on its books, at least a hundred of which have been sent to Ukraine. Production of large-caliber ammunition at CSG's enterprises has increased more than tenfold since the beginning of the full-scale Russian-Ukrainian war, and the number of employees has almost tripled to 10,000 people at enterprises in eight countries.

Strnad, who is only 31 years old, has a capital estimated at about $5 billion, according to Bloomberg. In 2023, Strnad was listed on Forbes for the first time. The valuation of his assets doubled to $4.3 billion in 2024.

"Even if the war were to end tomorrow it would take years to replenish the empty stocks, not to mention the push to boost defense spending and ramp up production. I am confident there will be strong demand for a long time to come.," Strnad said in an interview with the agency.

Czechoslovak Group also manufactures its combat vehicles and civilian and military trucks. Strnad stated that the company's portfolio of orders will provide work for many years.

He is building new assembly plants in three European countries and plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in joint ventures with Ukraine to produce weapons.

Read also: How Russia's war against Ukraine triggered a global race in air defense and missile defense systems