The huge four-day “civil defence” drill has set alarm bells ringing in Washington and London, with tensions already high over disagreements in Syria.
Following a breakdown in communication between the USA and Russia, the Kremlin has now organised the huge emergency practice drill – either as a show of force or something more sinister.
The drill will prepare Russian citizens for “large natural and man-made disasters”, according to the country’s Ministery for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disaster.
Emergency responders taking part in this week’s drill
A spokesman said in a statement: “The main goal of the drill is to practice organisation of management during civil defence events and emergency and fire management, to check preparedness of management bodies and forces of civil defence on all levels to respond to natural and man-made disasters and to take civil defence measures.”
They explained the scheme would be divided into three stages: awareness, planning and evacuation.