a form of military greeting and token of military respect.
In the Soviet armed forces, according to the Interior Service Regulations, all servicemen are obliged to salute one another; subordinates and inferiors in rank salute first. Individual servicemen and military units (on command) salute the V. I. Lenin Mausoleum, the fraternal graves of soldiers who died fighting for the freedom and independence of the Soviet homeland, the banners of military units, the naval flag, and troop-accompanied funeral processions, as well as when meeting one another.
When in formation, military units salute the following individuals on command: the chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, the minister of defense of the USSR, marshals of the Soviet Union and admirals of the Fleet of the Soviet Union, the chairmen of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviets and Councils of Ministers of the Union republics on whose territory (waters) the particular unit is stationed, chief marshals, generals of the army, marshals of the combat arms and special forces, admirals of the fleet, colonel generals, admirals, and all direct superiors, as well as persons assigned to direct inspections of the particular unit.
The rules of military saluting are defined in the Drill Regulations of the Armed Forces of the USSR, and, additionally for the navy, by the Ship Regulations of the Navy of the USSR.