The President of the Czech Republic, Petr Pavel, and the President of Slovakia, Zuzana Čaputová, visited Ukraine on April 28, 2023, to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kiev. During the visit, President Pavel presented President Zelenskyy with a hand-engraved CZ 75 pistol from the Order of the White Lion edition as a gift from the state. This continues the tradition of the highest Czech constitutional officials gifting Česká zbrojovka (CZ) products as examples of the quality and tradition of Czech industry.
“I am honored that President Pavel chose a hand-engraved pistol made by Česká zbrojovka as an official state gift to President Zelenskyy. This gift not only represents the industrial tradition of the Czech Republic, but also its support for Ukraine in its heroic battle against Russian aggression and the defense of our Euro-Atlantic values,” said Jan Drahota, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Colt CZ Group.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Colt CZ Group has supported the efforts of the Czech, American and Canadian governments to assist Ukraine. In close cooperation with the Czech Ministry of Defence, AMOS Agency and Embassy of Ukraine in the Czech Republic, the Group has been involved in providing material assistance, part of which has included donations of firearms and other material to the Ukrainian armed forces.
In connection with this state gift, Colt CZ Group will hold a charity auction of an NFT “Digital Twin” of the CZ 75 Order of the White Lion pistol with serial number RBL-022. It is a so-called virtual imprint of the firearm that President Pavel presented to President Zelenskyy. All proceeds from the auction will be donated to the collection account of the Embassy of Ukraine in the Czech Republic to support the Ukrainian army. BlockTrust, the company that provides Colt CZ Group with the technical solution for online NFT auctions, has waived its fee for this auction in favor of the collection account. Those interested in the NFT auction can learn more at https://hub.coltczgroup.onblocktrust.com/.
Colt CZ Group has already donated several of its products to past charity auctions, with the proceeds having been sent to the collection account for support of the Ukrainian army. In March 2022, a gala evening was hosted by Forbes magazine and the Freedom for Ukraine initiative to support Ukraine. A total of CZK 5 million was raised via an auction of the CZ 75 limited edition Tobruk pistol. In November 2022, Colt CZ Group donated a set of two hand-engraved pistols – a CZ 75 and a Colt 1911 – from the Tribute to Legends limited edition, which commemorates the 2021 merger of CZ and Colt. One third of the total proceeds of CZK 1.7 mil. was donated by Colt CZ Group to the collection account of the Embassy of Ukraine in the Czech Republic to support the Ukrainian army, while the remaining two thirds were gifted to the Military Solidarity Fund and the Police and Firefighters Foundation. Part of the proceeds from online auctions of NFT tokens associated with the Order of the White Lion and Tribute to Legends limited editions is also sent to the collection account for support of the Ukrainian army.
The Order of the White Lion pistol was created to commemorate the centenary of the Order of the White Lion award – the highest state decoration bestowed on citizens of the Czech Republic and foreign nationals for extraordinary service to the Czech Republic, significant merits for the defense and security of the state and for spreading the good name of the country abroad.
Each CZ 75 Order of the White Lion pistol is decorated with Czech national symbols, in the form of linden tree leaves and a double-tailed lion. The controls, extractor, grip screws, and magazine base plate are gold-plated. A shield with a crowned, two-tailed lion from the lesser coat of arms of the Czech Republic is from 14k gold and set into the right-hand side of the frame.
The pistol presented to President Zelenskyy is housed in a specially decorated case, with blue microplush lining and a dedication from President Petr Pavel in the Ukrainian language.