Anti-Semitic Leaflets Tell Jewish Citizens in Ukraine to Register or Be Deported

Tensions rise as pro-Russian militia in Donetsk reject U.S.-Russia brokered peace deal.
9:23 | 04/18/14

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Transcript for Anti-Semitic Leaflets Tell Jewish Citizens in Ukraine to Register or Be Deported
-- Anti Semitic pamphlets handed out in eastern Ukraine telling Jewish citizens to register. Or face deportation. Right now the international hot spot on -- Ukraine or when I'm Dan Butler in New York the disturbing leaflets. Upsetting US officials yesterday secretary of state John Kerry extremely upset and disturbed at these -- It is beyond unacceptable. This now the latest in the escalating tension in the region after the pro Russian militia. Rejected a deal negotiated between Russia and the west. ABC's -- -- or is there and on yes with the latest on this outs a lot of talk first about these leaflets do we know who's behind them. -- -- and yet -- -- the news this leaflet that came out yesterday and really just rocketed around the Internet. Really edited darker dimensions this artists are growing divided and violent conflict. We spoke with the chief rabbi of -- yet this morning done -- is one of the biggest cities. In eastern Ukrainian what he told us -- -- a couple nights ago after passover services the congregation was outside a synagogue. Three masked man came up and started handing out these leaflet flyers are calling on Jews and -- -- to register and -- A fifty dollar fee and be letterhead and of this fire had the people's republic of Don yes. On top that is the pro Russian side are the folks who have taken over the regional administration building down here and -- -- -- immediately called them. They completely denied. Having any artist saying they are certainly not anti static in fact their their entire argument is there there are fighting against what they call fastest. Forces and yet. What the -- -- is that he thinks this is a way to paint the pro Russian side. As radical anti semi you think this he -- this -- A political play this isn't. And this isn't a part of growing anti semitism this is just -- way to make the pro Russian side. Look bad folks probably from the -- outside. Outlook means it -- -- -- that the pro Russians with that rocks at the same time the rabbi said this is very -- -- been looking for years. Hundreds of years he said in absolute peace and harmony would the other residents of eastern Ukraine this is the first sign -- anti semitism. Even if this isn't terribly widespread. He said this is nerve -- because because -- those and at least one person probably more are our actual anti -- that you would be asking the authorities -- for more protection more security for the various institutions around the city but he said that there has been no evidence of anti semitism recently and and that the congregation isn't necessarily worried. About growing anti semitism here. Well that's -- I want to ask you about was the reach of these leaflets does is isolate it was a small area which these leaflets were distributed -- has -- popping up in other areas. No I don't want to downplay because it's obviously and incredibly disturbing when incidents it's such anti semitism happened but it was just one incident. It was the one night after passover. As the Nippon organs left the synagogue and and -- handed the -- that was really the only one. As far as the response -- from the Jewish community you've been saying that. Is there is some -- -- that this is an effort just to simply inflame the crisis. Right so what it looks like. And and the prevailing wisdom is that this is an effort to paint these -- the pro Russian side. As radical anti -- Susan. To make them look like you know members of the -- and and that was really. Built -- by the fact that secretary -- -- comment on it last night. That's why -- pro Russian side was so quick to come out and deny it because they don't want to be painted. As this fringe element and and they went so far is to invite us inside they're occupied building today. To go up to the room room by one or where this leaflet said the Jews had to go register they took us into the office. -- was an empty office there is known inside it look like you're you're standard administration building. Office there's nothing on the walls are a couple files a but -- took -- in there to show us look we're not we're not doing anything like that it did this is actually ridiculous their entire focus. Is this sort of anti government anti -- effort to try -- get more autonomy for the region. Let's talk was negotiated deal between secretary of state John -- Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov what does that mean overall response to that agreement. -- It -- he. Our secretary of state John Kerry is Russian counterpart Iranian counterpart and the Europeans was that the protesters. What they called illegal armed groups that spoke -- And -- you have groups would put down their weapons they would disarm -- protesters would lead -- buildings. I'd -- they've occupied and -- Ukrainian government would give amnesty. To these pro Russian protesters. Nothing budge -- -- they haven't moved an inch here at eastern Ukraine haven't been any buildings that have been evacuated no processors have gone home. We went to the one of the main once you're done yet this morning we spoke to the man who calls himself the governor of the people's republic of -- yes he said they're not gonna go home. Intel they would be government officials -- yet I go home they believed that the government -- yet it is criminal that they're occupying the government buildings there at the same time. They believed that the -- you have forces on my Don -- -- independence square that we saw back in battery. Our world -- violence and where they toppled. President Yanukovych. Those guys are armed as well they say so there so that the pro Russians here in in the eastern part of country saying well and tell the government needs those buildings and held -- -- -- on folks. Put down their weapons we're not going to do the same thing their entire focus is having a referendum next month so the incentive of amnesty did nothing to move the needle. Amnesty is not their concern their main concern -- is. Fighting what they call fascism nazism. From the government and yet they want to see this part of the country go more towards a Moscow they don't necessarily want to be part of Russia some do some are separatists but not the vast majority what most are looking -- more autonomy more independence. Are they want more economic benefits this is the economic beating heart -- this is where a lot of the industry -- -- lot -- -- that the tax dollars come from makes you like. They're not being compensated enough so. They want more independence for this part of the region they want more of their money. To stay in this part of regions of their main focus right now is to get that economy to get that independence in the -- where they think they can do that is through holding a referendum. Well and I want to ask about that some of those pro Russian Melissa actually want that referendum much like we saw in Crimea but what is the likelihood -- that actually happen. It's hard to say right now that they the government yet recognizes that -- -- real problem out here in eastern Ukraine a couple of days ago they launched what they're calling. An anti terrorist operators in the military out here so far they've had very few successes they managed to win back an airfield but that's about it otherwise they'd been confined. Series -- wherever their position -- package at a couple humiliating defeats where are duress several armored personal carriers and tanks that defected so. They're trying to work out some sort of they have to work out really kind of political compromise. So -- the acting president. And the acting prime minister. Have floated the possibility of holding some sort of referendum. Data that -- approved by the Ukrainian parliament and so far it hasn't. And so the fact that it just the back and -- that the prime minister and president are floating this idea isn't enough for these protesters and pellets in more concrete terms they're not necessarily gonna give up. Other protests or give up the building occupied they really want that it to be sure that this referendum is going to be held. And that the results will be implemented what as far as those efforts and that kind of sentiment if you compare eastern Ukraine Crimea is there is widespread support Russia. As it was in Crimea. Now here it's much more divided in in Crimea you had more than 60% ethnic Russians. And even if every single prime Meehan had been forced to go out and vote not referendum but it probably would have voted. In favor of joining Russia here it's much more divided you do have a large number of ethnic Russians sometimes majority sometimes minority depends on. On the province you're talking about. And so and -- the same time like saying you're you're not seeing. As much separatism the you don't see you are seeing -- like being seen people on the street -- We definitely want to be a part of Russia. They say we won a lean towards Russia we want better economic ties with Russia. And we do feel Russian but we also want to stay within -- there's -- reason we can't. We just want more autonomy so they really do want that referendum. Not necessarily to break away from Ukraine and changes orders are really to have more independence they make their own decision. And to move in in the eastern direction while they -- the west yet in the western part of this country to be moving towards Europe. At today's international hot spot ABC's -- -- -- and done yet Ukraine Alex thank you for your time we certainly appreciate that. And of course you can -- up with a story real time by downloading ABC news App Store and the store for exclusive updates on the go for now though I'm -- that's where New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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