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The Bridge From Russia to Crimea Doesn't Exist Yet, But It Already Has an Instagram Account

Most the cat will help occupy your time #WaitingfortheBridge from Russia to annexed Crimea. Image from @cat_the_most on Instagram.

Most the cat will help occupy your time #WaitingfortheBridge from Russia to annexed Crimea. Image from @cat_the_most on Instagram.

If you were ever at a loss as to what your social media strategy should include when you're slowly building a very expensive bridge to illegally annexed territory, the answer is: cats.

The so-called “Crimean Bridge” is an ambitious construction project launched by Russia shortly after its annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in the spring of 2014. Because Russia currently has no land connection to Crimea, the bridge, stretching from the Kuban region of Russia to the shores of Crimea, would be a strategic transportation artery, allowing Russia to carry supplies, construction materials, goods, and people to the peninsula and back.

Russian President Vladimir Putin raised the idea of the bridge across the Kerch straight back in March of 2014, and later Prime-Minister Dmitry Medvedev assigned the “Stroygazmontazh” construction company, owned by Putin ally, oligarch Arkady Rotenberg, as the main contractor for the bridge development project.

Although initially the planning and construction costs for the bridge were projected to be around 50 billion rubles ($709 million), more recent estimates by state companies involved in the project put the figure at close to 300 billion rubles ($4.25 billion).

Russian authorities say they want to complete the bridge by December 2018, but many experts are skeptical about the project's feasibility, pointing to huge expenses and geological challenges.

Although the 19-kilometer-long bridge is nowhere near complete, it already has a strong Internet presence and—what's more important—a cat-based social media strategy.

The splash page of the Crimean Bridge website. Screenshot from most.life.

The splash page of the Crimean Bridge website. Screenshot from most.life.

Not long ago the bridge got an official website, most.life, where users can learn about the construction project's history and progress, and see photos and videos related to the endeavor. “The very URL of the website isn't an accident,” claims the project's press service. “The quality of life for people on both sides of the straight directly depends on the bridge.”

The (as yet non-existent) bridge also has accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, mostly sharing the same cinematic images of the construction process and the local sights, as well as bits of ephemera related to bridge-making.

Photo of the construction process. Image from the Crimean Bridge VKontakte page.

Our favorite part of the Crimean bridge social media activity is a separate Instagram account of a cat called “Cat the Most” (“мост” is Russian for “bridge”) featuring a feline mascot hanging about the construction site, monitoring the bridge's progress, and dispensing regular wisecracks. Just look at this guy.

If they keep feeding me like this for another month, I'll be the size of this truck.

Most the cat even has a legend: the beast allegedly appeared on the construction site one day and was taken in by the workers. The cat's Instagram account tries to cater to various audiences, including hipsters.

Gonna go look for a barbershop in Taman. Wish me luck on this difficult quest.

It's clear that the multitude of social media accounts and their activity aim to occupy the popular imagination while the construction of the transport link shuffles along, with no concrete end date in sight. The bridge's official Instagram account has a little over 1,400 followers, and Most the cat brings in another 637 with its playful images and quips. Whoever is behind the project's social media strategy clearly knows their stuff: on the Internet, cats can fill any void, even if it's a bridge-shaped void worth several billion dollars.

  • alide

    Wonderful! I like it!

    • Greg

      The Bridge From Russia to Crimea and cat.
      I’m from Russia. It was the first time I’ve seen this cat. Thank you. I find it funny.

  • a bridge too far :-)

    • madmax

      in your head

      • Crimea will be given back to Ukraine, Putin goes to The Hague and all russians will be deported to Muscovy.

        • Kharkiv Regional Council declares Russia aggressor state april 9, 2015
          Odessa, December 16, 2015
          Zaporizhia Oblast Council recognized Russia aggressor country. September 4, 2015
          Better check city council websites before listening or believing in to rus troll propaganda :-) sites

          • Greg

            Schastya
            This is the front line. Can you Imagine what is it?

          • If it weren’t for ethnic russians in volunteer battilions like in Right Sector and Azov, russian dogs could have come further….

          • Greg

            Odessa – yes. From third attemp
            Democracy on the bones of burned alive

          • 10.000+ deaths, mostly civilian, mostly ethnic russians or russian and russian speaking killed by russian dogs as ethic russian girl fled from Donetsk called them…all people putin said he wanted to protect..instead he killed them like now in syria

          • idiots set place on fire and became smoked fish WOOOHAAA

          • Greg

            Results now (only the regional centers): Odessa, Zaporozhye, Mariupol refuses to recognize Russia as the aggressor.
            Хотя тебе украинцу этого не понять.
            Muscovy говорят только украинцы

          • Wrong again like with cities didn’t find any town who failed to recognize RF as agressor , and only Muscovites from Muscovy speak “russian”, derived from Ukrainian since that was coming fromOld Slavonic first…russian is youngest language, only Belarus and Ukraine share oldest history, Muscovy came later, the marshpeople…:-)

          • guest

            RIA Novosti in the modern Russia is like Foelkischer Beobachter in the Third Reich. Heil Poo Teen!

        • madmax

          View the Crimean referendum in 1991, and then obviously you have gaps in history

          • referendum under gunpoint, and not according international or Ukraine law? HAHHAHAHHAHHAHHAHAH btw even kremlin office noted just 15% voted FOR annexation, and thats NO majority…(in forbes)

          • Greg

            Can you think from law size. As adults.
            Militias Donbass have greater legitimacy.
            Why? Continuity of power can only be legitimate. A military coup is illegal. President of Ukraine – alive. His niuto not removed from power. He is not removed from power according to Court.
            Militias of Donbass have continuity of law.
            But we rely on what we have. The current junta Ukraine.

          • Wrong, if yanakovich was removed illegally, even party Y. voted in favor of him being ousted, there would not have been so much sanctions.

          • Greg

            Do not drink more today.

          • I leave drinking up to muscovites, so if you ever drank vodka you’re a muscovite

          • jtarin47

            What military coup???

          • Greg

            No. A peaceful demonstration of workers with hundreds killed by someone unknown. No one investigating this.

          • jtarin47

            My point. :)

          • madmax

            Read 1991, or buy glasses

          • Greg

            They Ukrainians have forgotten it. Spend at least or either 20 referendums, even 100 referendums. Does not matter. The Americans help by propaganda.

          • Only “russians” have selfmade gaps in history and in their minds, perhaps of vodka

          • Greg

            Too much alcohol at morning?… there is help out there if you want it…

          • madmax

            gorilka does not rest?

          • madmax

            Read the Hypatian Codex, the Radziwiłł Chronicle, then speak about the history.

          • Ukraine mentioned 1187, when Moscow was marsh, name RUS belongs to Ukraine, chronicle from 15th century depicts history of Kyvian-RUS and Ukraine-Rus untill 1206 well before muscovites came out marsh, that Tsar in 1721 stole name RUS and history Ukraine is well documented. Sources on https://www.reddit.com/r/russiawarinukraine/comments/37tryg/muscovy_the_name_of_the_grand_duchy_of_moscow/ has a number who are prohibited in RF, adding to their credibility, RF blocks everything that is truth :-)

          • madmax

            Ahahaha
            the capital of Ancient Rus:
            VIII century Ladoga
            862—882 Veliky Novgorod
            882—1243 Kiev
            your knowledge on the history of funny

          • “ancient rus” is invention of Putin, you don’t find that name in old chronicles..

          • madmax

            And which old Chronicles? Hypatian Codex, the Radziwiłł Chronicle, Tale of Bygone Years written in Old Church Slavonic.

            Teach the history of the ignorant

  • jtarin47

    “Bridge over troubled waters”.

  • Alexander Pioneer One

    “is nowhere near complete”… . Rokot, a typical propagandist, can easily find the Crimean bridge on Google map. And I think, she will be surprised.

    • guest

      A link, please.

  • Owan Skirlan

    There no internets without cats. So Tatiana can’t win this infobattle

    • Andrey Ivanov

      Tetiana, not Tatiana. Hipsters is so hipsters

      • Owan Skirlan

        And Kyiv not Kiev?

  • Greg

    I’m from Russia. It was the first time I’ve seen this cat. Thank you. I find it funny.

  • Евгений Т

    The author distracts from false articles cats. Any intelligent person can go on Wikipedia and see the dates, price.

  • guest

    There are two places where a bridge over the Kerch Strait could be built; in one place, the strait is 5 km large, in the other – 33 km. The bridge is being built on the larger one. Why? Because a bigger construction work requires more money, therefore, there are more opportunities for personal enrichment (contractors receive money from the budget…and receive…and receive. “But your initial estimation was way smaller!” — “Well, you see, some unforeseen circumstances appeared…”) GV should write an article on this topic, too.

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