Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday that Russia was concerned by the West's attempts to influence the situation in Ukrainetals say that they don't accept the elections and their next thesis is that Ukraine (search) must be with the West," Lavrov said at a news conference.

"The Ukrainian people must decide who Ukraine wants to be with, and such statements make you think that somebody really wants to draw new dividing lines in Europe," he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (search) all but publicly endorsed Yushchenko (search)'s rival, Prime Mini geopolitical position by opening new oil and gas transport routes and extend its economic clout by forming a free-trade zone involving four former Soviet republics.

For the West, an unstable Ukraine on the edge of the European Union could be a source of severe new headaches, including a possible wave of immigrants. Although Ukraine has given up its nuclear arsenal, Western governments have expressed fears that it could play a role in proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

A liberal Russian political leader, Grigory Yavl the protest. Using grainy, jumpy footage caught on what it advertised as a hidden camera, it broadcast a scene of demonstrators being instructed over a loudspeaker to remain disciplined.

"Otherwise, you will immediately go home in disgrace and every village and every city will know that you could not cope," the voice over the loudspeaker said.