Ukraine war: How will it impact people living in the UK?

Ukraine war: How will it impact people living in the UK?
Apartment buildings in Kiev damaged as Russian forces shell Ukraine capital

Vladimir Putin declared war on Ukraine on Thursday after explosions were reported on the outskirts of Kharkiv, Kramatorsk, Mariupol and the capital.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the government is introducing martial law on all territories of the state and urged citizens to stay at home as much as possible. He also tweeted that he is continuing negotiations with the world leaders, adding: "The world is with us."

Putin put out a stark warning to other countries about their interference, saying: "If you do, you will face consequences greater than any of you have faced in history."

But, how will the war in the Ukraine impact UK life?

Understandably, many people are worried that the UK will have to go to war – but it is very unlikely.

If Ukraine was part of Nato – the military alliance made up of 30 states – every Nato nation would have to launch an attack against Russia. Because Ukraine is not a part of Nato, the West must respond with sanctions.

If, however, Putin extended his attack beyond Russia and into a Nato state (i.e. Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia), then the UK would be bound to go to war with Russia.

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In terms of gas prices, these can be expected to soar.

Russia is the world's largest natural gas supplier, specifically to the US and China. The UK's reliance on Russian gas is far less significant, at just 3 per cent.

About half of the UK's gas comes from the North Sea, and a third is sourced from Norway.

However, just because the UK doesn't count on Russia for gas doesn't mean the cost is protected. If pipelines were to be cut off in other parts of the world, people will scramble for gas, which could have a knock-on effect on UK supplies.

In addition, the UK market is closely connected to markets in mainland Europe, meaning a price rise on the continent will likely lead to higher prices here too.

Some foods can expect to be hit with an increase as Ukraine and Russia export much of the world's grain. According to Sky News, wheat prices went up £15 a tonne in the hours after Russia invaded.

In essence, this could hike up the cost of flour, bread, meat, dairy and eggs because wheat and corn are the primary sources of animal feed.

Beyond living costs, Lloyds Bank has revealed the UK are on a "heightened alert" for a Russian cyber-attack amid fears they will retaliate against sanctions.

Lloyds chief executive Charlie Nunn said all of the bank’s security and controls are at a “heightened and elevated level”.

“We’ve been working closely with the Government over the last two weeks,” he added.

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