Club 8-bit, one of Ukraine’s largest privately owned computer museums, was destroyed earlier this week during the siege of Mariupol. Kotaku discovered the event after its owner, Dmitry Cherepanov, turned to Facebook to announce 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 contained over 500 pieces of computer history, some dating back to the 1950s. Gizmodo visited the museum in 2018, characterizing it as “one of the largest and nicest collections” of Soviet-era computers anywhere in the world. Many of the PCs on show at Club 8-bit took Cherepanov more than a decade to acquire and refurbish. The museum’s demolition is devastating because it highlighted a shared history between the Ukrainian and Russian peoples.
Cherepanov, thankfully, is still alive, although he, like many Mariupol residents, has lost his house. If you wish to help Cherepanov, he has set up a PayPal account where you may donate to him and other Ukrainians harmed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since its inception, nearly 10 million people have been displaced by the conflict, making it the fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II.