House Republican leaders on Friday unveiled their “Commitment to America” agenda for 2023 ―, presenting an inspiring video full of scenes as exceptional footage of America that was actually stock footage from Russia and Ukraine.
The GOP’s video, “The Preamble to the Commitment to America,” begins with a narrator highlighting aspects of what it means to be American.
“We celebrate the rich heritage of the American story and the vibrancy of the American Dream,” said the voice over images of an oil rig at sunrise.
But this video clip, an obvious nod to America’s natural resources, was not filmed in America. It is stock footage shot by Serg Grbanoff, a filmmaker based in Russia.
Grbanoff told The Switzerland Times that he filmed this scene in the Russian region of Volgograd. Here’s a screenshot of the image in the video of the House Republican leaders, versus an original shot on Shutterstock’s website:
It’s not the only instance where Grbanoff’s work appears in the GOP’s video celebrating America.
In another scene you see a boy laughing and running in a field with a toy airplane. The words “Freedom and the pursuit of happiness” appear on the screen, a reference to the Declaration of Independence.
This clip was also made by Grbanoff and also filmed in the Volgograd region. Here’s a screenshot of the image in the video of the GOP versus an original shot on Shutterstock’s website:
At another point in the video of the Republican leaders of the House, they take a shot at the Democrats over the economy.
“Democrats have taken America off the track,” the narrator says. The words “crippling inflation and rampant crime” appear on the screen, above a shot of a woman walking through a supermarket.
But these are images of a European supermarket. If you look closely at the screenshot, you’ll see a label hanging on one of the store shelves that reads “AKCIA.” a Slovak word which means “action”. informal“AKCIA” is used to designate sales in Slovak shops.
House Republicans almost certainly also used footage from Ukraine in their video about America.
The video features a clip of a farmer carrying a bag on his shoulder in a cornfield as the words “And the vibrancy of the American Dream” appear on the screen.
These are also stock images from a Shutterstock contributor, DedovStock. The man in the clip works for DedovStock and has a page of his work on his website. His page contains pictures of him in Ukraine and the Carpathiansstretching through Ukraine and parts of Eastern Europe.
A spokesperson for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) did not immediately respond to a request for comment about why GOP leaders rolled out their plan for America with a video featuring stock footage from Russia.