Psychologist explains how Crimean bridge’s destruction may affect Russian society

8 October 2022, 09:27 PM
A collapsed traffic lane after an explosion on the Krymsky Bridge section, October 8, 2022 (Photo:REUTERS)

A collapsed traffic lane after an explosion on the Krymsky Bridge section, October 8, 2022 (Photo:REUTERS)

Psychologist and expert in non-verbal communication, Valentyn Kim, described on Radio NV on Oct. 8 the place the Crimean bridge occupied in Russia’s propaganda narratives and how its destruction would affect Russian society.

“The Crimean bridge is a symbol in the trend of the complete destruction of the (narratives) on which Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s propaganda machine relied,” he said.

“The destruction of (other) symbols, (such as) those associated with World War II, ‘invincible weapons,’ ‘the greatest army in the world,’ etc. is underway.”

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According to Kim, the Crimean bridge was an important for the Russians, as it performed many useful functions for the Russian authorities, symbolizing unification, providing meaning, mobilizing society, and unifying the population.

“We can already see what kind of reaction (the incident on the bridge) is causing: anger, rage, confusion, and negative emotions in relation to their own General Staff, political structures, the Crimean authorities, etc.,” the psychologist said.

“Russians will react emotionally in the short term.”

Kim concluded that despite the scale of the event, nothing new will happen at the strategic level in Russian society, because the powerful destruction of meanings and symbols that are key for Russians began a long time ago and has been continuing over the course of many months.

However, the propagandists will look for a culprit, he said.

“The symbolism is beginning to collapse,” Kim said.

“(The Russians) can no longer rely on it. When their propagandists feel this, they get confused. They don’t know how to communicate with the people, what to offer them. They join the race to find a culprit and blame them as loudly as possible.”

An explosion and fire hit the Crimean bridge early on Oct. 8. The bridge connects Russia and the Ukrainian peninsula, which has been under Russian military occupation since 2014. The bridge is a vital route through which Russia moves reinforcements and supplies for its invasion forces.

The bridge is now partially destroyed, and traffic across it has been suspended. At first, the invaders stated that a “tank of fuel” had caught on fire, later they said that allegedly a truck had blown up on the bridge.

NV’s sources in law enforcement agencies said that the blowing up of the bridge was a special operation by Ukraine’s SBU security service.

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has ordered the creation of a government commission following the “emergency” on the occupied peninsula.

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