New Zealanders are among those looking on in concern as explosions rock several Ukrainian cities, stoking fears of a widespread Russian invasion.
As well as threatening the lives and safety of those in Ukraine, Russian military manoeuvres will cause economic shocks.
Global stocks already plunged on the back of Russia's move.
Locally, New Zealand's sharemarket has suffered its biggest single-day fall in nearly two years, sliding nearly 3 per cent, as Russia goes to war against Ukraine.
By 5pm, the S&P/NZX 50 Index had slumped 337.11 points or 2.78 per cent to 11,797.3 – the lowest level since September 25, 2020, when the index sat at 11,797.08.
For those in NZ with investments in KiwiSaver or the sharemarket, any sustained fall on stock markets will hit their portfolios or their account balances.
The invasion is also predicted to push up petrol prices for NZ motorists.
Infometrics' principal economist Brad Olsen tweeted how oil prices were already up.
"Watch for 91 in NZ to increase to above $3.00/L, with discounted fuel up to $2.85/L or so," he said.
Higher oil prices also mean that costs for many businesses rise, and they could too be passed on to consumers.
There are currently 23 New Zealanders registered on SafeTravel as being in Ukraine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said earlier today.
A total of 17 Kiwis have fled the country since Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta warned New Zealanders in Ukraine to "leave immediately" on February 12.
What's happening in Ukraine
Explosions have been reported in several Ukraine cities, including the capital Kyiv, as Russia launches "full-scale war", the Ukrainian Government says.
Russian president Vladimir Putin declared a "special military operation" but the Ukraine Interior Ministry said the Russian invasion had started. Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called it "full-scale war".
US president Joe Biden and other western leaders have condemned Russia's move – but Putin warned them any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to "consequences they have never seen".
He said the attack was needed to protect civilians in eastern Ukraine – a claim the US had predicted he would falsely make to justify an invasion. In a televised address, Putin accused the US and its allies of ignoring Russia's demand to prevent Ukraine from joining Nato and offer Moscow security guarantees.
It comes after Ukraine declared a state of emergency over the unfolding crisis with Russia, and Putin sparked panic by recognising the breakaway territories of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine – known collectively as the Donbas region – earlier this week.
In a televised address to the Russian people, the president said clashes between Ukrainian and Russian forces are "inevitable" and "only a question of time.