On the morning of October 8, Vladimir Putin was woken up with an urgent message. At 6 a.m. an explosion shook the Crimean Bridge. Parts of the road fell into the sea. A train was engulfed in flames on the tracks. The official statement from Moscow followed a few hours later. A truck is said to have exploded. The flames would have detonated the fuel tanks of the train that was passing on the tracks at that moment. But this is not the only version of what happened. An explosion from below or several explosive devices is also under discussion.
Regardless of how the explosion happened, the moral blow the Putin regime is suffering is grave. "Sometimes a small stone is enough to set off an entire avalanche. And the explosion on the Crimean bridge could become such a stone," says political scientist Abbas Galliamov. "The Crimean Bridge is enormously symbolic. (...) It is the symbol of imperial security, of military power. The bridge was guarded from the air, from land, from the water; with combat dolphins, divers, underwater drones. How many times have we been told about this on state television?" the expert recalled in an interview with independent broadcaster Dozhd.
The attack on the bridge impressively demonstrated to the whole of society and the elite that the tiger is only made of paper. "All he can do is talk. Now everyone will be looking at Putin. How will he answer? But how can he answer?" Even a shelling of Kiev would no longer surprise anyone. After all, Putin has Ukrainian cities shot at every day.
Lawyer and activist Mark Fejgin also emphasizes the symbolic meaning of the bridge. "The Crimean bridge symbolizes that Crimea is not a peninsula but part of Russian land. And now that artery is destroyed. Now it's time to explain to your own audience how you could lose that artery. So far I don't see any complaints in the direction of Putin himself. But there is fear, nervousness, outrage. (...) I think that was also the goal: to create a feeling of vulnerability."
And that feeling will grow. In view of the explosion, every mobilized soldier must ask himself: "If even such an important strategic object is not protected, what about me?" Fejgin explains in an interview with the YouTube channel "Popular Politics".
The Kremlin's propaganda is also aware of the symbolism of the Crimean Bridge. It was the propagandists themselves who raised the Superbau to a kind of national shrine. After a brief moment of shock, the first guidelines were issued from the Kremlin on Saturday. So the propagandists should by no means speak of "destruction", but of "damage". So the usual game of beautification and cover-up has begun.
But political scientist Michel Naki believes that someone to blame will soon be named. "The secret service agents will be appointed to be primarily responsible for this embarrassment," he said. Especially if you assume that the version with the exploded truck is correct. "Smuggling a truck with explosives is a difficult task. After all, you have to acquire, load and transport the explosives in wartime. And all this on a territory that is completely controlled by the Russian Federation. If heads are going to roll soon, then it will be it will be that of the secret service agents. Because this is their great failure."
Military observer Ivan Yakovin shares this assessment: "The FSB is most likely responsible for this story. After all, who was responsible for protecting this bridge," he said in an interview with "Radion Swoboda". Perhaps the explosion was even "a kind of symptom of the conflicts between different power groups within Russia. The military was accused of the case of Liman, the Kherson region and so on. Perhaps the military took revenge on the FSB in this way. I would rule it out entirely Not."
Now the FSB will be under attack. "Because for Vladimir Putin, the Crimean Bridge is a million times more important than the city of Lyman and the entire Kherson region and its entire population."
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is not threatened as a result of the explosion, says Naki. The incident has nothing to do with the Ministry of Defense's area of responsibility. After all, we are not talking about rockets or tanks attacking the bridge. "We're talking about a special operation. And after all, the Russian secret services exist for special operations," he said in an interview with Alexei Navalny's team.
In addition, Putin will now hardly drop anyone who is associated in the population with the so-called "special operation" in Ukraine. "Because that would actually be tantamount to admitting your own failure." In addition, Putin sees himself confronted with another problem: he does not have enough people whom he could raise to high posts as replacements. "That's the main problem with Putin's vertical system of power. If you choose your people based on their loyalty, you won't be left with any professionals."