For the past few weeks, armed groups of pro-Russian men have been storming and seizing government buildings in towns across eastern Ukraine. Angered by the new pro-western Ukrainian government and emboldened by Russia's annexation of Crimea, these groups are demanding separation from Ukraine. Ukraine's new government has asked for western assistance, as it tries to recapture police stations airbases and other government properties -- without resorting to violence which may trigger a Russian response. Russian president Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine's new authorities of driving the country towards the abyss but said that dialogue was the only way out of the intensifying crisis. Thousands of Ukrainian soldiers are deploying in eastern Ukraine, with even more Russian soldiers massed on the other side of the border. NATO officials said they planned to deploy more forces in eastern Europe and called for Russia to stop "destabilizing" the former Soviet satellite, which has been in deep turmoil since the ouster of the pro-Kremlin leadership in February.
An armed pro-Russian man stands outside the seized mayor's office in Slaviansk, Ukraine, on April 14, 2014. Towns in eastern Ukraine on Monday braced for military action from government forces as a deadline passed for pro-Russian separatists to disarm and end their occupation of state buildings or face a major "anti-terrorist" operation. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich)
A woman walks along a railway crossing near Ukrainian tanks on freight cars before their departure from Crimea -- now annexed by Russia -- to other regions of Ukraine in the settlement of Gvardeiskoye near the Crimean city of Simferopol on March 31, 2014.(Reuters/Stringer) #
Pro-Russian protesters, some holding Russian national flags, storm a regional administration building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on April 6, 2014. (Sergey Bobok/AFP/Getty Images) #
Pro-Russian protesters scuffle with a policeman near a regional government building in Donetsk April 6, 2014. Around 100 pro-Russian protesters stormed the and hung up a Russian flag in defiance of Kiev's pro-European government.(Reuters/Mikhail Maslovsky) #
Armed pro-Russian activists walk through a street near the seized Ukrainian regional administration building in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk on April 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) #
A pro-Russian protester breaks a window as others storm a regional government building in Donetsk on April 6, 2014.(Reuters/Mikhail Maslovsky) #
Pro-Russian supporters wave a Russian flag as they storm a regional administration building in Donetsk on April 6, 2014. About 50 protesters chanting "Donetsk is a Russian city!" broke through police lines on and stormed inside the main administration building of the eastern Ukrainian city. The activists moved away from a crowd of about 2,000 rallying on the main city square and threw firecrackers at police surrounding the government seat before raising the Russian flag above the 11-storey building.(Alexander Khudoteply/AFP/Getty Images) #
A Ukrainian police officer receives medical care after being attacked by a pro-Russian mob that stormed a police station in Horlivka, eastern Ukraine, on April 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) #
Masked pro-Russian men stand guard inside the mayor's office in Donetsk on April 16, 2014. (Reuters/Stringer) #
Masked pro-Russian men attack British photojournalist Frederick Paxton during the mass storming of a police station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Horlivka on April 14, 2014. Several government buildings have fallen to mobs of Moscow loyalists in recent days as unrest spreads across the east of the country. Western journalists have routinely been targeted by intimidation by crowds during attacks. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) #
A pro-Russian activist dressed as a knight guards the barricade at the regional administration building that was seized earlier in Donetsk on April 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) #
A barricade is set up in front of the seized office of the SBU state security service in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, on April 10, 2014. Pro-Russian separatists reinforced barricades and called on President Vladimir Putin for help after the government warned it could use force to restore order. (Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov) #
A Ukrainian fighter plane flies above the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk on April 17, 2014. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images) #
Ukrainian General Genady Krutov talks to journalists in front of a Ukrainian airbase in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, on April 15, 2014. Ukrainian armed forces launched a "special operation" against militia men in the country's Russian speaking east, authorities said, recapturing a military airfield from pro-Moscow separatists. (Reuters/Marko Djurica) #
Pro-Russia protesters rough up Ukrainian General, Genady Krutov (center right), who had been speaking in front of a Ukrainian airbase in Kramatorsk on April 15, 2014. (Reuters/Marko Djurica) #
A column of combat vehicles with a Russian flag makes its way to the town of Kramatorsk on April 16, 2014. An Associated Press reporter said he saw the column of combat vehicles, occupied by pro-Russian insurgents and flying Russian flags.(AP Photo/ Evgeniy Maloletka) #
Pro-Russia supporters beat a pro-Western activist who lies on the stairs during a pro Russian rally in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on April 13, 2014. Two rival rallies in Kharkiv turned violent after a group of pro-Russian protesters followed several pro-Ukrainian activists, beating them with baseball bats and sticks. (AP Photo/ Olga Ivashchenko) #
Interior Ministry members stand near men, who were injured in clashes between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian supporters during rallies in Kharkiv on April 13, 2014. (Reuters/Stringer) #
Ukrainian helicopters take off after delivering troops to an airbase in Kramatorsk, in eastern Ukraine, on April 15, 2014.(Reuters/Marko Djurica) #
A Ukrainian soldier holds a hand grenade as Ukrainian army troops receive ammunition in a field on the outskirts of Izyum, eastern Ukraine, on April 15, 2014. An Associated Press reporter saw at least 14 armored personnel carriers with Ukrainian flags, one helicopter and military trucks parked 40 kilometers (24 miles) north of the city. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits) #
A fighter jet flies above as Ukrainian soldiers sit on an armored personnel carrier in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, on April 16, 2014. Ukrainian government forces and separatist pro-Russian militia staged rival shows of force in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday amid escalating rhetoric on the eve of crucial four-power talks in Geneva on the former Soviet country's future.(Reuters/Marko Djurica) #
A Ukrainian soldier clashes with a pro-Russia protester in a field near Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, on April 16, 2014. Ukrainian forces tightened their grip on the eastern town of Kramatorsk on Wednesday after securing control over an airfield from pro-Russian separatist militiamen, prompting Russian President Vladimir Putin to warn of the risk of civil war.(Reuters/Marko Djurica) #
Ukrainian soldiers standing on a combat vehicle try to negotiate with pro-Russian protesters in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, on April 16, 2014. Fifteen armored troop carriers full of paratroopers were surrounded and halted by a pro-Russian crowd at a town near an airbase. They were allowed to retreat only after the soldiers handed the firing pins from their rifles to a rebel commander.(Reuters/Marko Djurica) #
Women pray for peace near a regional administration building that was seized by armed pro-Russian activists in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk, Ukraine, on April 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka) #
Communist lawmakers scuffle with right-wing Svoboda (Freedom) Party lawmakers during a parliament session of Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, in Kiev, Ukraine, on April 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Vladimir Strumkovsky) #
A Ukrainian soldier aims his weapon at pro-Russia protesters gathered in front of a Ukrainian airbase in Kramatorsk, on April 15, 2014. (Reuters/Marko Djurica) #
A female member of a "Maidan" self-defence unit stands guard in front of the Ukrainian parliament building in Kiev on April 15, 2014.(Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko) #
A minivan burns at the gates to a National Guard base in Mariupol, early Thursday, April 17, 2014. Three pro-Russian militants died and 13 were wounded when Ukrainian troops repelled an attack on the National Guard base in the Black Sea port of Mariupol, Ukraine's interior minister said Thursday. (AP Photo/ Nikolai Ryabchenko) #
People surround a man who was injured during pro-Russian protests near a Ukrainian military base in Mariupol on April 16, 2014. Ukraine's interior minister said on Thursday that three pro-Russian separatists were killed in shooting that broke out overnight in the town of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov. "According to preliminary data, three attackers were killed, 13 wounded and 63 detained," Arsen Avakov said in a post on Facebook. (Reuters/Stringer) #
Sergei Shevchenko, a pro-Russian protester wounded in the storming of a Ukrainian National Guard base, speaks in a hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 17, 2014. "We just threw Molotov cocktails to light the way," said Shevchenko, a 40-year-old businessman from the regional capital, Donetsk. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits) #
A mobile phone showing footage of an unidentified gunman killed in a firefight outside the eastern Ukraine town of Slovyansk on April 13, 2014. Authorities dispatched troops to the town in an effort to quell unrest across the east, where pro-Moscow protesters have seized a number of government buildings over the past week. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) #
An elderly woman holds a Russian flag outside the secret service building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk on April 16, 2014.(Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images) #
A photo taken on April 8, 2014 shows a view of the interior of the Kharkiv regional state administration chancery after being destroyed by pro-Russian protesters. (Sergey Bobok/AFP/Getty Images) #
A pro-Russian armed man sits near the seized police headquarters in Slaviansk on April 13, 2014. Ukraine's Interior Minister on Sunday told residents in the eastern city of Slaviansk to stay indoors, in anticipation of clashes between pro-Russian militants who have seized official buildings and Ukrainian security forces. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich) #
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks to the media after a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow, Russia, on April 17, 2014. President Putin rejected claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine, but recognized for the first time that the troops in unmarked uniforms who had overtaken Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula before its annexation by Moscow were Russian soldiers. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin) #
A Ukrainian soldier embraces a pro-Russian friend as they are blocked by people on their way to the town of Kramatorsk on April 16, 2014. Pro-Russian insurgents commandeered six Ukrainian armored vehicles along with their crews and hoisted Russian flags over them Wednesday, dampening the central government's hopes of re-establishing control over restive eastern Ukraine.
Jews 'ordered to register and list property' in east Ukraine city of Donetsk where pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings
They were also told they would need to provide a list of property they own as well as being ordered to pay a fee or face the threat of deportation.
U.S. officials in Washington say leaflets bearing the chilling order have recently appeared in the city amid pro and anti-Russian protests as tensions rise in the area.
It comes after Jews leaving a synagogue in the city of Donetsk were reportedly told they had to 'register' with Ukranians trying to make the city part of Russia.
Scroll Down for Video and full leaflet translation
Sinister: A leaflet distributed in Donetsk, Ukraine calling for all Jews over 16 years old to 'register'. The leaflet also demanded the city's Jews supply a detailed list of all the property they own, or else have their citizenship revoked
United States Secretary of State John Kerry has condemned the distribution of leaflets in eastern Ukraine demanding that Jews identify themselves.
Mr Kerry described the leaflets as 'grotesque and beyond unacceptable' as he hit out at instances of religious intolerance that have been inflaming tensions in the nation.
The State Department says it is looking into who is responsible but takes the threat seriously no matter who is behind the leaflets.
Mr Kerry, who is currently in Geneva for talks on Ukraine, also denounced apparent threats to members of the Russian Orthodox Church from members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
He said no such behavior could be tolerated. it is not yet clear who exactly is responsible for producing the leaflets.
According to USA Today, the leaflet says all people of Jewish descent over 16 should report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and 'register.'
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (left), seen here with Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov earlier today, has blasted the leaflets as 'grotesque and beyond unacceptable'
It goes on to explain that the reason for this is that leaders of the Jewish community of Ukraine supported Bendery Junta in reference to the leader of a nationalist group fighting for independence at the end of the Second World War.
The letter features the flag of the so-called Donetsk Republic, a self-proclaimed state declared earlier this month by several hundred activists who occupied the Regional Administration Building and the City Hall buildings in the city.
In March leaders of Ukraine’s Jewish communities published an open letter denouncing Russian anit-semitism and criticising Putin.
The Kiev-based Vaad of Ukraine is an umbrella group that says it supports '265 Jewish organizations from 94 cities of Ukraine'.
The letter, written in Russian and co-signed by 21 Jewish leaders — including the Vaad leadership, supports Ukrainian sovereignty 'in the name of national minorities and Ukraine’s Jewish community.'
Putin has justified his military action by claiming that he is acting to protect Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population and claims that Ukraine’s new government is composed of 'fascists and neo-Nazis'.
Tension: A Ukrainian soldier at a road block on the outskirts of Izyum, Eastern Ukraine
A pro-Russia activist stands guard in front of the flag of the so-called Donetsk Republic in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk today. The flag appears on the letter
Pro-Russian armed soldiers pictured on a tank in front of the Slavyansk City Hall in Ukraine. Pro-Russian protesters have occupied the government buildings in eastern cities such as Donetsk and Luhansk, declaring independence from the capital Kiev
But the letter, claiming to represent Russian-speaking Jews, said: 'Your certainty about the growth of anti-Semitism in Ukraine, which you expressed at your press conference, also does not correspond to the actual facts,'
'Perhaps you got Ukraine confused with Russia, where Jewish organizations have noticed growth in anti-Semitic tendencies last year.'
During the Soviet era, the Soviet Union and countries within its sphere of influence were accused of persecuting Jews. Josef Stalin was said by numerous sources to despise Jews and under Brezhnev Jews faced discrimination.
Mr Kerry has been attending a conference on the unfolding crisis in Ukraine.
Parties including representatives from Ukraine, Russia and the European Union, issued a joint statement which read: 'The participants strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-semitism.'
Jewish groups have expressed their concern over growing anti-semitism in Russia. Pictured, Russian ultra nationalists make Nazi signs during a rally in Moscow in 1998
'REPORT TO US': THE LETTER TELLING JEWS TO REGISTER
TRANSLATION IN FULL
Independent Donetsk Republic
Leaflet allegedly instructing all Jewish people to register
Taking into consideration the fact that the leaders of Jewish community of Ukraine has supported banderovtsy’s Junta in Kiev, and have been hostile to Orthodox Donetsk Republic and its citizens, the General Staff of Donetsk People’s Republic has decreed the following:
All citizens of Jewish nationality who are older than 16 years-old that have been living within the territory of Sovereign Donetsk Republic should attend acting Commissioner for nationalities affairs in Donetsk Regional Government Department, office 514 for registration before 03 May 2014. The registration fees are 50 USD.
You should bring the amount of 50 USD for registration fees, passports for marking the confession of faith, documents showing family members, entitling documents for title to real property and transport facilities.
In case of attempts to avoid the registration, the subject persons’ citizenship will be revoked with their subsequent enforced deportation outside Donetsk Republic including the forfeiture of their property.
Yours People’s Governor – Denis Pushilin