Is there a word or phrase in Russian for this particular salute-like gesture? I recall reading a book written by Viktor Suvorov where he described soldiers recognizing a high officer with an expression he referred to as "devouring him with their eyes". I had always wondered what that meant, but these soldiers are making this very distinctive expressive salute-like movement, and I suspect that this is what he meant. Can someone confirm this, and if so, tell me what the Russian word or words for it is? This is from a video of Mr. Putin making some kind of ceremonial entrance into the Kremlin. He walks up this long stairway lined with soldiers holding their rifles at the salute, and as he walks through, each soldier holds his head back with their faces cocked towards him, tracking him.

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3 Answers 3


This is воинское приветствие ("military salute").

When standing in present arms position, the military salute is performed by assuming position of attention, looking the senior in the face and turning one's head as the senior moves. No hand gestures are made.

The military regulations require that the military salute is conveyed "in a precise and dashing manner" (чётко и молодцевато).

  • 1
    64. Выполнение воинского приветствия с оружием на месте вне строя производится так же, как и без оружия (ст. 61); при этом положение оружия, за исключением карабина в положении "на плечо", не изменяется и рука к головному убору не прикладывается.
    – Alexander
    Commented Apr 9, 2019 at 16:51

"Ravnenie na" Равнение на... Something like "alignment to"

This means all soldiers must look at a certain mark, most common are Alignment to the left / right / tribune / commander. You can see this on military parades a lot. Here's an example https://focus.ua/files/images/0/-87397.jpg Soldiers here were given a command to align to tribune and salute the president. Note how some soldiers look straight forward, the 1st soldier in each row is in charge of keeping the distance between rows, others follow his lead.

  • I'd rather +1 with this - technically it counts as воинское приветствие but actually it's more specific.
    – shabunc
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 11:26
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    @shabunc равнение does not make sense when the servicepersons are not in a formation (as they are on the picture).
    – Quassnoi
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 11:46
  • @Quassnoi as far as I know (but I'm not a military person and can be wrong) it's still равнение - since they are actually not just staying but aligned
    – shabunc
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 11:48
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    @shabunc: no it's not. равнение means "formation alignment". It makes no sense to command "dress" if there's no formation to align. Команды РАВНЯЙСЬ и ЗАПРАВИТЬСЯ подаются при нахождении военнослужащих в строю
    – Quassnoi
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 11:53
  • ну так они ж в строю - ну опять-таки говорю - значит я не прав
    – shabunc
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 12:01

Both answers provided seems to me to be correct, I just want to mention that actually the borrowed word "салют" and derived from it "салютовать", though getting obsolete, still exist in Russian.

When one says "салютовать" to Russian speaker this is more about firing, raising hand to the head (there's also an informal verb козырнуть for this) - but still, technically what we see can be counted as отдавать салют.

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