Hundred thirty-first edition of the N&O column / Spooks newsletter

(Date: August 2008)

Voice stations | Morse stations | Various modes
Military stations | Utlility round-up | Logs
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Military stations

Russian, CIS, Ukrainian military SSB & CW stations (including M32)

Before I get to the military logs, first an interesting question from Trond.

He writes that he has heard a number of strategic flash messages to RDL on 20-8, all using codeword "PODAROK". This codeword, and the not so frequent used codeword "USTRELINA", are possibly connected to some activities of the Russian Nuclear forces. Trond submits the following samples:

  1. At 0856 UTC this message was broadcasted on 18.1 kHz:
    "xxx xxx rdl rdl 21856 podarok 01 1325 220 090 1226 00 1310 345 090 1326 k"
  2. Then at 0910 UTC, almost an identical message, but with a small difference:
    "xxx xxx rdl rdl 21856 podarok 01 1325 220 090 1226 00 1310 345 090 1226 k"
  3. This message was followed by "xxx xxx" and a long message using Bee 36/50 (T600)
    Then later at 0929 UTC, a repeat order, in words identical to the 0910 UTC broadcast:
    "xxx xxx rdl rdl 21856 podarok 01 1325 220 090 1226 00 1310 345 090 1226 k"
  4. Later followed up by the regular final broadcast format when "PODAROK" is used:
    "xxx xxx rdl rdl 05706 podarok 01 1065 170 045 1343 02 1350 160 100 1343 k"

The 5FG number has changed. Addresses or codesets are changed from 01 and 00 to 01 and 02. Trond was not able to verify which HF channels were used in parallel to the VLF broadcast.

Fritz reacted to Trond's mail with this answer:

"Looking trough my log I find that most of the PODAROK messages to be observed in spring and even more often in early autumn, coincidence or strategic messages connected to the forthcoming winter conditions in arctic Russia ?? As my ELF observations are not 24/7 I am not able not verify that PODAROK could be connected to ELF transmitter ZEVS on the Kola peninsula , but this facility went of air for a number of weeks last time PODAROK messges was monitored. But this is a VERY LOOOONG shot and most likely just a(nother) coincidence. :-)"

All feedback on the "PODAROK" mystery is very welcome.

THIS MONTH'S LOGS

18.1 Russian High Command. Mode: FSK morse 75 Hz shift, handkeyed 12 wpm.
  Logged on 27-8: "xxx xxx r cr v r cr v 43243 sholast 53013 47 3 k"
Flash messages directed to recipients with only letter IDs is very rare on the VLF strategic command channels.
Logged on 29-8: "xxx xxx rdl rdl 37208 35870 walerian 9198 4589 k"
// 8136, 10452, 10535, 12741, 12832, 14411, 14664, 16112, 16912, 17460, 19256 kHz.
"xxx xxx rdl rdl 68325 39838 dana° 7261 8701 k" // 8136, 10452, 10535, 12741, 12832, 14411, 14664, 16112, 16912, 17460, 19256 kHz.
Notes: All 3 VLF frequencies, 18.1 kHz, 21.1 kHz and 27.3 kHz have been active with T600 traffic as well as 5FG messages and Flash Messages using FSK morse. At 0732 UTC and 0741 UTC) paralell HF traffic was noticed on these 11 frequencies: 8136, 10452, 10535, 12741, 12832, 14411, 14664, 16112, 16912, 17460, 19256 kHz. The Russian ELF station "Zevs" operating on 82 Hz, is also active since a couple of days on 24/7 basis with a continuous carrier and frequent messages in between.
Bit length 4 minutes, shift frequency 0.2 Hz.
4797.5 Russian Navy: RJD52 wkg RCRI (Russian Naval Vessel)
5232.0 Russian Navy: RIQ87 traffic
5817.0 Unid (Russian or CIS military???)
  "...2Ya2Ya2Ya 35475 2Ya2Ya 35475 3Ya3Ya 78160 KK",
"3Ya3Ya 78177 K 3Ya 78177 K" (Ya: .-.-); T=0.
5901.0 Russian Mil: "DE RZH5 RZH5 R K SK"
6873.0 Russian Navy, Kaliningrad : RMP
6902.0 Russian Mil. "XXX XXX RDL RDL 99999 71292 13642 01711 00111 07347 04748 02204 00426 01745"
7056.0 Russian Mil. 1SBE, NIMK, 3QLP, QSEE, H11N, 6IIS. Radio checks.
7298.0 Russian Navy Vessel RFH77 tfc to RIW after CW-coord. on 9145 kHz RIW:
  "QYT4 QSX 8623/7298"
7566.0 Russian Navy: RCV. Weather.
7959.0 Russian Air Force, Moscow : REA4
7696.0 Russian Navy. RJF94 wkg RCHN
7959.0 Russian Air Force, Moscow : REA4
8136.0 Russian Mil: RMW32 duplex traffic with RMW36
8345.0 Russian warship: RCIG. "RCIG OK QRU K"
8623.0 Russian Navy Vessel RFH77 tfc to RIW after CW-coord. on 9145 kHz RIW:
  "QYT4 QSX 8623/7298").
8816.0 Russian naval aircraft. 71403 wkg RJC48 on simplex freq.
  "QTO 0815 QRD XRKA UKFA QRE 0925 QBD 5400 k"
9145.0 Russian Navy: RIW wkg RFH61 fr QSA? & RFH77
  "QYT4 QSX 8623/7298" to 8623 & 7298 kHz
5LGs-QTC "717 202 24 1531 717= SML FM RCV = ..."
10201.0 Russian Navy Sevastopol : RCV.
  "xxx RJV 85771 wstre÷nyj 9556 9602 k"
"xxx RJV 99499 portõvnyj 1571 1588 k"
"xxx RJV 98573 znakowyj 1584 7290 k"
10500.0 Russian Mil. RAZ2 clg RWBH
10535.0 Russian Mil. "XXX XXX"
10921.0 Russian Navy: RMP wkg RFH61 QSX 11429 kHz fr "ZZD", rcvd msg.
11000.0 Russian Navy: RIW clg RFH61
11429.0 Russian Naval Vessel: RFH61 wkg RMP. QSX 10921 kHz
11747.0 Russian warship: RFH61 wkg RIW. See 14556 kHz.
12593.0 Russian Mil: DDZL. Ends bcast of Nr 473: "chPZNO õEPWõ 375 K". (Preamble was 473 23 13 1648 473). Requests "R 473 ? K" from GMIM, BT3Y and ZQGK.
13479.0 Russian Air Force, Moscow : REA4 "XXX XXX XXX REA4 01293 BALANVA 1958 4088 (repeats) K"
14096.0 Russian Mil. Q-codes, 5LGs
14108.0 Russian Mil. ZCG4, PTZD, I6LU, Y1CQ, 6GQ5, A1QN, PYTG, YNDK, ZG5L, NF8L, 5CIG, F1A4, ET8U, F1TS, WKPA, SBLR, 1YYS, DGXB, QHBD, WEGI, VHGV, ISFK, TLZT, 5IWR, YHG1, A1QN, YNDK, PYTG, ZG5L. Radio checks, 5LG msgs and "XXX WEGI 24734 WINILISDID 2592 1340"
14148.0 Russian Mil: RGT77
14160.0 Russian Mil. 4FG msgs
14411.0 General Staff VGK Moscow :
  "xxx RDL 82035 88975 otwislyj 8237 1021 k"
"xxx RDL 20499 26929 rasterõha 6705 9375 k"
"xxx RKS RDL 65312 02409 wlasõnoj 7702 2224 k"
"xxx RKS RDL 23064 14277 geweõ 6824 8911 k"
"xxx RDL 65312 02409 wlasõnoj 7702 2224 k" (repeat for RDL only)
"xxx RDL 18466 38708 oblovnõk 6577 9868 borden 1131 8053 k"
"xxx RDL 01012 63384 atnadera 8181 3533 k"
"xxx RDL 98231 64572 gonnardit 8227 9213 k"
"xxx RDL 10836 03386 Úksponent 3992 7497 laskira 7174 8600 virokompas 5508 3261 k"
"xxx RDL 72875 64574 azoturiõ 6982 4089 k"
"xxx RDL 82024 75205 bromnyj 1346 1872 k"
"xxx RDL 15355 69466 bastarda 4074 8944 k"
14556.0 Russian Navy: RIW. "RFH61 de RIW QRR3 QDW 11747 K. RIW K". Then calls RGZ58 for message: "RIW 833 292 15 1115 833 = OOOOO RFLXM SCYMT MMMMM URRJZ ..."

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