Residents of the city of Odesa (Odessa), which is located in the U.S. state of Texas, allegedly decided to rename the city in order to get rid of its "Russian" name due to the war in Ukraine. This is reported by the Kremlin media, z-Telegram channels, while Russian TikTok users share relevant videos.
The propagandists refer to the video that was supposedly "shot" by journalists of the American TV channel ABC News. The video includes footage, in particular, showing people preparing for elections, as well as a man in a cowboy hat against the background of cars with American and Ukrainian flags attached to them. The text to the footage says that due to Russia's war against Ukraine, residents of the American city of Odesa are preparing for a referendum on changing the "Russian" name of the city. In their reports, the propagandists summarize: thus, in the United States, Ukraine’s Odesa is considered a Russian city.
This video is a fake. There is no such video on the ABC News’ official website or its YouTube channel, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages. On the official website of the city hall of Texas’ Odesa, there is no information about the preparations for renaming the city. None of the American publications wrote about this “news story”, neither did local regional media covering the events of the Midland agglomeration, which includes Odesa.
The video includes several different footage that can be found on YouTube. For example, the October 2022 news release on the Texas TV channel WestNews9 was used to depict the preparations for the vote “on renaming the city”. The original video said that an early voting error in the Midland school board election had been eliminated.
Some footage from the fabricated video completely coincide with the footage from the original video. In both videos, we see, in particular, a voting room with a star, voting machines and a blue pickup truck passing in front of a white car.
Another part of the propagandists' video was taken from a 2019 video. Its authors are the Backyard Bull Riders organization that holds rodeos in Texas cities. The footage used to show that the events were allegedly taking place in Odesa itself were taken from the first 15 seconds of the video about the rodeo in Odesa.
In the original and fabricated video, we see identical footage of a water tower with the inscription "Odessa", an image of an American football stadium, where the local high school team plays, as well as a stela stylized as a 1930s oil derrick.
Earlier, Russian propaganda threatened Europe with high fuel prices and spread a fake "social advertisement" about the energy crisis, which was filmed in the suburbs of Moscow.