The use of a venomous snake by Moses to heal (by raising it on a cross above sick Israelites) is explained by a remainder of internal contamination with alpha emitters from the Santorini eruption. Venom is acid, with the small sprinkling above the followers it helps excreting through faeces or urine the contamination. (Snakes pump on protons from alpha decay to feed their venom synthesis, like other venomous animals – their relation to radioactivity levels is direct – see amount of venomous animals in Australia for instance)
The Orthodox culture kept somehow a memory of this by the use of a copper snake above the cross.
Below, Syrian Orthodox church :
In strongly Jesus-oriented faithfuls is the memory of a point in John where Jesus says he is the equivalent of the snake on the cross raised by Moses as he says he “will be raised like that snake” (see his actual way to die). He says he’s the snake and indeed Jesus-oriented faithfuls proceed by eliminating all natural predators to install Jesus and the priests then proceed as predator of children. A dragon, other snake-like symbol, is “defeated by Michel”…
The very limited level of natural disasters in Russia can be associated with this appreciation of the natural predators (let’s separately compare however Sovietism as a kind of very powerful natural disaster). Indeed it’s about learning to respect nature (all of it) and to find an equilibrium with it (without suppressing it).