The Russian Defense Ministry is training to directly manage local authorities, law enforcement and state security as tensions with the U.S. raise the risk of nuclear war.

Russian Army units, along with the Air Force, Airborne troops, and the Northern Fleet, conducted a large-scale snap exercise earlier this year to test combat readiness.

During the drill, the Russian Defense Ministry practiced assuming direct control over Russia’s regional governments in the case of military conflict. The Defense Ministry’s test of the new wartime administration system occurred in Stavropol Krai, Ingushetia and Crimea.

“In the course of the strategic war games Caucasus-2016, the Defense Ministry has for the first time tried how a military district command can directly manage the regions of the Russian Federation,” an unnamed military official told the daily Izvestia.

Under Russia’s previous policy of wartime administration, regional authorities and federal ministries worked on their own while the Defense Ministry served in a coordinating role. The Russian military indicates the new rule would grant all administrative powers to the military, which would direct regional authorities, law enforcement, and the National Guard.

“Russia currently has five military districts that comprise the Defense Ministry’s territory division units,” RT noted. “In times of war, the command of each of these districts will be divided into two parts – the Operative Strategic Command and the Wartime Military District.”

“The former will be in charge of military operations and the latter will control the draft, logistics and execution of all special regime measures, such as maintaining public order and the increased security of strategic installations and communications.”

Earlier this month, 40 million Russians took part in an emergency evacuation as part of a massive civil defense drill.

Russia’s domestic preparations for war come after Putin ordered the movement of nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles into Kaliningrad two years ahead of their previously scheduled deployment.

Tensions between Russia and the United States have reached critical mass after both sides declared de-facto no-fly zones and threatened to shoot down each other’s planes over Syria.

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