Vladimir Putin has reportedly told officials to fly relatives living abroad back to Russia, leaving many worried about the reason for the “urgent” call.
The Daily Star reports local media as saying Mr Putin wants Russian officials and politicians to return to the “Fatherland” now.
The call extended to elderly relatives overseas and children, even if they are in the middle of the school year.
The newspaper says the edict applies to “administration staff, regional administrators, politicians of all levels and employees of public corporations” and that “anyone who fails to act will put their chances of promotion at risk.”
Russian political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky told the Star: “This is all part of the package of measures to prepare elites to some ‘big war’.”
It comes as relations with the West continue to deteriorate.
Mr Putin has cancelled his trip to Paris scheduled for October 19 after the two countries fell out over the bombing of Aleppo.
“With Russia, France has a major disagreement on Syria,” French President Francois Hollande said. “The Russian veto to the French security resolution prevented putting a stop to the bombing and the declaration of a ceasefire.”
Earlier this month, Mr Putin ordered more than 40 million people, or about a third of the country, to take part in a civil defence exercise that involved steps to take in case of a nuclear war.
Russia reportedly has built enough nuclear bunkers to house Moscow’s 12 million residents.