I think I'm close to a breakthrough. Got this numbering system just about worked out - we can now tell what happened, how often, and an idea of where. Mostly. There are some gaps in the sequence, and some oddities. Doesn't match the usual government publications, but really - did we expect them to?
All the numbers are set up as AAA,BB19CC,ZYZ,(XX), AAAA.
So the first four and last four digits are part of a tracking serial number to find the warehouse and shelf the files should be located in - though I doubt that is there anymore. After the first four, is a second set - month/day/year. Kind of clever sticking them in the serial number - read just like any other filing system and you would be going off to the middle of nowhere.
It is the next three that are the most interesting four our purposes though. This seems to be an internal check that declares what type of operation it was, possibly where, and how many ops were in a given year. Once again, the number is oddly split - its the first and third that give the time stamp. 2X4 comes before 2X6, even if the middle digit is different so 284 comes just before 226. I haven't see an operation 0_0, so we are in theory limited to 81 possibilities.
Now the middle number seems to be linked to the type of operation. The number six comes up the most often - it seems to refer to tests or training exercises held in that Azerbaijani base we learned about previously. Seven and eight come up less often, but seem also linked to internal operations or training exercises, but farther from the base. Nine might be as well - but the place names seem to indicate these were tests conducted outside the Soviet Union - a rather bold step.
One through three seem to be actual deployments - fortunately rare. I'm rather concerned about number two "Clean Up Only" - its the most common of the deployment types. I would hazard that escapes were common, but a few reports I looked out mention places in South America or Africa - could they counter a competitor's program as well? If so, how many people were doing this?
Five doesn't appear anywhere, but its occasionally referred to in notes, with comments like "Production is insufficient for a five scenario" or "Please coordinate a type five to support 25th Guards Tank Regiment for 1991 war games". That last request was in 1988 by the way - and all reporting stops abruptly about 1992. World War Three full deployment scenario?
In 1983, 84, 85, and 90 we see an extra two numbers. At least in 84, I also found number 979 so those may be overflow to handle operations in excess of 81.
We know there we're a hell of a lot of tests, and they have at least one base down south, albeit no longer on Russian Territory. That isn't going to make this easy. We don't have much proof that many or any of the disturbances we're looking at are dealing with them, and well, the whole idea seems impossible on the face of it. But you and I both know that criminal wasn't human, and there was no reason for an APC and guys in hazmat suits showing up at the precinct morgue after we shot him during the drug bust, unless something really odd happened.
How are things proceeding on your end?