The fundraising appeal for the armoured vehicles – tagline “Grab them all” – had only been launched on Wednesday by the Serhiy Prytula charity foundation, named after its founder, a popular comedian and TV presenter with a sizeable online following.
Within nine hours, half of the funds had been pledged by donors, ranging from private individuals to big Ukrainian corporations and smaller high street firms, such as the bedding company World of Mattresses.
By lunchtime on Thursday, there was no need to continue pumping out the calls for cash, and the social media memes that had made much of the conceit of the coming battle between Spartans and Persians, a wry nod to the Iranian kamikaze drones that have been plaguing Ukrainian cities in recent months.
The British army has been using FV103 Spartans since 1978 but they are being phased out for newer designs. The 50 on sale are in private hands and each is said to have fewer than 10,000 miles on the clock.