Russian politicians and officials with children studying in the West have been told to bring them home to the “Fatherland”, local media is reporting.
They have also been told to recall any older relatives – such as parents – living in foreign countries, sources claim.
The worrying development – which comes after Putin suddenly cancelled a visit to France – applies to ALL state employees.
Workers were reportedly told to pull their children out of school immediately, even if it was in the middle of term.
The edict applies to administration staff, regional administrators, lawmakers of all levels and employees of public corporations.
Anyone who fails to act will put their chances of promotion at risk.
The reason for the urgent recall is unclear.
But at least one analyst suggested it is to prepare the elite for “big war”.
The move may be meant to guard the children against western influence.
But Russian political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky said: “This is all part of the package of measures to prepare elites to some ‘big war’.”
It comes after Russia held civil defence drills for 40 million citizens in apparent preparation for an apocalyptic nuclear war.
Ash Carter, US secretary of state, has told the Pentagon Russia could be plotting a “unprecedentedly terrible attack” using its superior nuclear firepower.
Earlier this month, Putin’s ministers announced they had built nuclear bunkers capable of holding all of Moscow’s 12 million residents.
Putin cancelled a scheduled visit to Paris next week after French president François Hollande accused the Kremlin of war crimes in Syria.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “The President has made a decision to cancel this visit.”