Earlier this week, Club 8-bit, one of Ukraine’s largest privately-owned computer museums, was destroyed during the siege of Mariupol. Kotaku spotted news of the event after its owner, Dmitry Cherepanov, took to Facebook to share the fate of Club 8-bit.
“That’s it, the Mariupol computer museum is no longer there,” he said on March 21st. “All that is left from the collection that I have been collecting for 15 years are just fragments of memories on the FB page, website and radio station of the museum.”
Club 8-bit’s collection included more than 500 pieces of computer history, with items dating from as far back as the 1950s. Gizmodo visited the museum in 2018, describing it at the time as “one of the largest and coolest collections” of Soviet-era computers to be found anywhere in the world. It took Cherepanov more than a decade to collect and restore many of the PCs on display at Club 8-bit. What makes the museum’s destruction even more poignant is that it documented a shared history between the Ukrainian and Russian people.
Thankfully, Cherepanov is alive, but like many residents of Mariupol, he has lost his home. If you want to support Cherepanov, he has opened a PayPal account accepting donations to help him and other Ukrainians affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since the start of the war, nearly 10 million people have been displaced by the conflict, making it the fastest-growing refugee crisis since the second world war.