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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 September, 2003, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
Computer crashing, Ukraine-style
Man smashing computer monitor
Contestants enjoyed the "creative destruction"

Over 300 self-confessed computer addicts have participated in a competition in the central Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhya to destroy their own hardware in a spectacular fashion.

The event, dubbed the "First Open Computer Destruction Championship", was organised by a local FM radio station with the professed aim of raising young people's awareness of the dangers of spending too much time in front of a computer.

The competition comprised three main events - throwing a keyboard, kicking a computer mouse, and the most popular, the "creative destruction" of computer monitors.

The crowd cheered as cars were used to run over system boxes.

Ironically, the winners in each event received new computer hardware.


Participants told Ukrainian TV that they felt better after destroying their equipment.

Radio engineer Yevhen Hrytsenko, who won the keyboard-throwing event with a result of 40.2 metres (132 feet), said he felt "liberated from computer addiction".

Girl about to kick mouse
A user ready to "reboot" her mouse

"Just recently I busted my monitor at home. I was so angry at it, luckily I didn't destroy the keyboard, so I could throw it here today," he said.

Another participant agreed computers could be cumbersome: "I am so sick of these computers, all we do is just sit and type on them."

Another added: "After sitting at the keyboard all day, I needed revenge."

But in a country with an average annual income of about $700, a computer is still very much a luxury.

Only some 4% of the Ukrainian population are known to be active internet users.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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