What the Russia and Ukraine conflict means for Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Ukrainian Americans in the Houston area are watching the Russian invasion closely. Many of the estimated 5,000 Ukrainians here have relatives back home, in danger.

But, even if you think you don't have a direct connection to Ukraine, the invasion will still impact you.

"The uncertainty creates a lot of anxious attitudes in the market, generally speaking, and this can result in higher prices," said Dr. Jason Enia, the chair of the Sam Houston State University Political Science Department. "Going forward over the next couple of days, how this settles will be important for people to pay attention to."

Sanctions have been put into place that restricts nearly all trade with Russia and freeze bank accounts there.

Russia is a major producer of oil and gas. Although the United States imports very little directly from Russia, disruptions could cause a ripple effect and raise oil prices and/or contribute to a global shortage.

Cyber attacks are also a concern. U.S. intelligence officials have warned that banks, businesses, or even government agencies in the United States could be targeted by Russia.

"He's also strategically playing this game where he is using misdirection and other kinds of arguments to make his case to the Russian public," Dr. Enia said. "When you look at it from afar you get this confusing mess."

SEE ALSO:

Russian President Vladimir Putin announces 'special military operation' in Ukraine

Russia invades Ukraine on many fronts in 'brutal act of war'; 57 Ukrainians killed in invasion

Why is Russia invading Ukraine? Countries share complex history, but Putin attack for simple reason

Russia-Ukraine: Here's where the attacks in Ukraine are happening

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