V23 – French Lady / French Man Numbers Station

V23 was the French language version numbers station of the Russian 6 operator.  The station has only seen brief periods of activity in August 1999, March 2010, May 2016, September 2017, and February 2021.  Due to these strange periods of activity, it’s believed to be reserved for some type of special operations.  V23’s first activity was in August 1999, from the 13th to the 20th.  It transmitted twice daily at 09:00 and 19:00 UTC.

At first, the station was debated on whether or not it could be Ukrainian since it’s schedules were similar to E17z and S06s.  However, it was confirmed to be a part of the Russian 6 network since it used their same message format.  It also transmitted the ID 362, which was used by it’s counterparts E06, G06, and V06 around the same time.  So whatever operation this was, it involved French, Spanish and English speaking agents.

It originally used a female voice during it’s first activity in August 13th to 29th.  After that it switched to a male voice for the rest of its transmissions.

Message Recording (Female, August 1999)

Message Format

362 508 508 82 82 55109 55109 80042 80042 … 508 508 82 82 00000
3-digit ID 3-digit group
Group count
paired groups
3-digit group
Group count
Repeated for
4 minutes

Numbers Station Summary

Nickname: The French Lady / French Man
Activity: Active
Emission Mode: USB + Carrier
Voice Summary: Automated female voice, numbers read in French.
Believed Country of Origin: Russia
Counterpart Stations: E17, E20(?), G06, S06, V06, M14, M24, S25
Station Family: Family 1 Subfamily A “KGB/FSB/GRU” [The 00000 Family]


Simon Mason’s Website – V23 French Woman Page
ENIGMA Newsletter Issue #18 (January 2000), Page 29