Photo from UNIAN

There is a real military threat coming from the Union State of Russia and Belarus, says Ukrainian expert Mykhailo Samus.

A common regional grouping of the Armed Forces of Belarus and Russia operates as part of the Union State, said Samus, who is Deputy Chairman of the Center for Army Research, Conversion and Disarmament, according to RBC-Ukraine.

"Since the creation of the Union State, for us, Ukraine, a military threat has been constantly present from the territory of Belarus, since a common regional grouping of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation operates within the Union State," the expert explained.

Earlier, the report came that Ukraine had strengthened controls at the border with Belarus after Belarus decided to redeploy more military to the west of the country – toward Poland and Lithuania.

Read alsoLukashenko warns Zelensky against "fomenting riots" in BelarusAlso, Ukraine's military command were alarmed by repeated references to Ukraine in Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko's public addresses where he alleged foreign meddling and warned some foreign leaders, including President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, of responsibility "for fomenting riots".

Protests in Belarus: background

On August 9, presidential elections were held in Belarus. The Central Election Commission said  Alexander Lukashenko won a sweeping 80.1% of the vote, while main rival Svetlana Tikhanovskaya sealed just 10.1%.

Thousands of Belarusians took to the streets to contest what they believe is a rigged vote count. Riot police violently slammed on protesters, detaining thousands, of whom many were badly beaten and injured while in custody.

On August 15, following phone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Lukashenko said Russia had promised full-fledged assistance to ensure the country's security. Earlier Lukashenko has repeatedly claimed external forces are trying to destabilize Belarus.

On August 16, Lukashenko press service announced following another conversation between Lukashenko and Putin that the two leaders intend to react jointly "in the event of an escalation in terms of external threats."

On August 19, the European Union said they did not recognize election results and tentatively agreed on introducing a package of sanctions against those involved in a violent crackdown on protesters and vote-rigging. On August 20, Belarus prosecutors opened a criminal case into a seizure of power by the opposition.