ritons have been told to prepare for cyber attacks, rising fuel prices and soaring food bills in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Within hours of explosions rocking the county’s cities and town, the price of Brent crude oil to jump by eight per cent to $104.56 per barrel, hitting its highest point since 2014.
Markets across the globe slumped as President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale attack on Thursday.
Here’s what could happen in coming weeks to the UK’s cost of living and our security.
Spies were warned days ago about an enhanced risk because of the Ukraine crisis.
An alert by the National Cyber Security Centre, which is part of GCHQ, advised British organisations to “bolster their online defences” by taking “actionable steps that reduce the risk of falling victim to an attack”.
It added there was an historical pattern of cyber attacks on Ukraine with international consequences.
Jamie MacColl, a cyber security expert from the Royal United Services Institute in London, said any Kremlin cyber offensive would most likely be directed at crippling Ukraine’s power network.
Petrol and diesel prices are already at record highs and the conflict in Ukraine will inevitably send the cost even higher.
A litre of petrol and diesel is almost certain to push well above 150p and remain there for the foreseeable future.
Filling up a londonbusinessblog family car could cost around £90 for the first time ever. This is likely to boost sales of electric cars.
AA president Edmund King said: “Russia’s attack on will result in hikes in prices at the pumps.
“New record fuel prices are likely any time soon.”
Mr King advised drivers wanting to conserve fuel to consider car-sharing, cutting out short journeys, reducing speeds and driving more smoothly.
Russia is the world’s largest exporter of gas and the third biggest producer of oil.
The price of a barrel of crude is already at a seven-year high and breached the $100 a barrel mark when war broke out yesterday while wholesale natural gas futures shot up by almost 50 per cent.
This will inevitably feed through to household bills when the next price cap on average annual bills is set in August.
The cap is already due to rise from £1,277 to £1,971 in April and could go as high as £2,700 in the autumn.
Stock markets plunged by between two and four per cent all over the world as Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine.
That will have knock on effect for the value of pension funds and other long-term investments.
Further falls seem inevitable for London’s FTSE 100 leading index of shares and in France and Germany.
Trading was suspended on the Moscow Stock Exchange for a period, but it plunged by around a third after reopening and the rouble plummeted to a record low against the dollar.
As ever, at times of crisis, the gold price is likely to benefit as money flows into what are seen as safe harbour investments.
Russia and Ukraine are two of the world’s biggest producers of key commodities that are now likely to surge in price adding to the rate of inflation.
The former is the leading exporter of fertiliser, gas and wheat while Ukraine is the world’s third-ranked wheat supplier and also a major supplier of maize and sunflower oil. Between them the two countries provide 23 per cent of global wheat exports.
UK bread wheat prices have already risen to around £290 a tonne, up from around £180 two years ago, and further increases could push up the price of supermarket loaves, even though the UK grows around 80 per cent of the wheat it needs.
The National Federation of Fish Friers warned that the average price of fish and chips could soon hit £10, with cod supplies now 75 per cent more expensive than in October.
Susannah Streeter, senior investment analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The extra pounds on bills are piling up for families, with the increase in fuel, energy and grocery bills set to hit lower income households harder.
“With budgets being squeezed further the likely knock on effect of a fresh rise in prices, caused by the escalating situation in Ukraine, would be a blow to consumer confidence after lockdown savings are increasingly worn away.”