Message Format

Russian military messages may have one of the following urgency levels, in order from the most to least urgent:

  1. Monolith (Монолит) - Morse code: "XXX XXX"
  2. Air (Воздух) - Morse code: "WZD"
  3. Rocket (Ракета) - Morse code: "RKT"
  4. Airplane (Самолет) - Morse code: "SML"
  5. Regular (Обыкновенная)

"Monolith" messages interrupt all other transmissions. The less urgent messages come after the more urgent ones.

"Monolith" messages

These messages utilize the following generic format:

Recipient(s) Code word section 1 Code word section 2
МДЖБ 34568 ГАШЕНИЕ 4895 4813 ЗИЗИФУС 9836 1935
Callsign Uncertain Instruction

The format is not described publicly, but monitoring gives some suggestions. The 5-digit group might be connected to the recipient, possibly containing a district number in the first 2 digits, and some numbers from the military unit number in the last 3 digits; Russian military unit numbers are 5 digits long. This theory can be seen, for example, in this Pip message addressed to four recipients:

ДЛЯ 5Ф7Щ 49ФГ ТУЗР 5Й7Щ 66431 56298 43202 66185 ОТЦЕПЩИК 9869 2167

As you can see, there are 4 recipient callsigns, followed by four 5-digit groups, followed by the message itself.

The callsign at the beginning of the Monolith message normally designates the recipient of the message; contrary to popular belief, this is not the name of the calling station. Furthermore, it can often be a circular callsign, meaning for example that the message is addressed to all the stations listening on the network. The calling station sometimes specify its own callsign after the recipient: for example, the following message is addressed to Трос-28, from Барон-78 (я Барон-78 "I'm Baron-78").

Трос-28, я Барон-78, 94225 ЛАРГА 4546 0441

The message content has been discussed in Russian forums. It is known that message code word usually addresses some envelope with instructions, with the two 4-digit groups being the message itself that can be decoded using the given envelope.

There are also so called zone-covering (Russian: "Зонально-Маскировочные сообщения" or "Зоны") messages. They are Monolith format messages, but they have no actual meaning.

Here is an old Buzzer transmission site log journal page, showing both "Monolith" (сигнализация Монолит) and zone-covering (зона) messages


"Uzor" messages

These are similar to "Monolith" messages, except they have no options in front:

Recipient(s) Code word section
Callsign Code word  
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