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Message format

All branches of the Russian Armed Forces use common formats for voice and Morse code radio messages.

Urgency levels

With no urgency declared, the message is considered "ordinary" (Russian: обыкновенная). Above that, there are four standard urgency levels, in order from the least to the most urgent:

# Level Voice Morse
1 Самолет (Samolet; English: Airplane) Самолет SML
2 Ракета (Raketa; English: Rocket) Ракета RKT
3 Воздух (Vozdukh; English: Air) Воздух WZD
4 Монолит (Monolit; English: Monolith) - XXX XXX

Radiograms

Radiogram is a general term for written messages sent over radio, regardless of whether they are in clear, encoded, or encrypted. They are preceded by a preamble like the following:

459 34 1 0005 459
3-digit serial number Group count Day of the month Moscow time 3-digit serial number

If the message has a non-ordinary urgency level, it appears after the preamble. The origin callsign, if any, is included after the urgency level, preceded by "FM" (in Morse) or "ot" (in voice). The destination callsigns, if any, are included after the origin callsign, preceded by "FOR" (in Morse) or "dlya" in voice.

In 5-digit group messages, the last group is the day of the month (first 2 digits), followed by the group count, excluding this group (last 3 digits).

Monolit messages

Monolit messages take the following format:

Recipient Uncertain Code word section 1   Code word section N
МДЖБ 34568 ГАШЕНИЕ 4895 4813 ... ЗИЗИФУС 9836 1935
Recipient callsign 5-digit group Code word Two 4-digit groups Code word Two 4-digit groups

The 5-digit group is most likely connected to the recipient(s), as suggested by the callsign/group configurations observed:

  • Single recipient callsign, followed by a single 5-digit group
  • Single recipient callsign, followed by multiple 5-digit groups
  • Multiple recipient callsigns, followed by the same amount of 5-digit groups

The message content has been discussed on 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 "zone-covering" messages (Russian: "Зонально-Маскировочные сообщения" or "Зоны"), which use the same Monolit format, but do not carry any actual meaning. Here is a page from an old transmission log from The Buzzer, which shows both Monolit ("сигнализация Монолит") and zone-covering ("зона") messages.

Uzor messages

Uzor messages are similar to the Monolit messages, except they do not contain any 5-digit groups, and feature only one 4-digit group per code word:

Recipient Code word section 1   Code word section N
8С1Щ КАНДАГАР 3148 ... ЗАШИФРОВКА 7817
Callsign Code word 4-digit group Code word 4-digit group

Command messages

These take form of the word "Komanda" followed by a number. By this command, all personnel should arrive into assigned positions. The prefix "1" indicates a training alert, rather than a real alert.