|Premier of the Soviet Union|
Глава Правительства СССР
|Residence||Kremlin Senate, Moscow|
|Formation||6 July 1923|
|First holder||Vladimir Lenin|
|Final holder||Ivan Silayev|
|Abolished||26 December 1991|
|Succession||Prime Minister of the Russian Federation|
The Premier of the Soviet Union (Russian : Глава Правительства СССР) was the head of government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The office had three different names throughout its existence: Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (1923–1946), Chairman of the Council of Ministers (1946–1991) and Prime Minister of the Soviet Union (1991). The term premier was used by outside commentators to describe the office of head of government.
Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although nearly three decades have passed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia.
The head of government is either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. "Head of government" is often differentiated from "head of state", as they may be separate positions, individuals, or roles depending on the country.
The first Soviet government was established on 6 July 1923. The government was empowered to initiate decrees and legislation that were binding throughout the USSR.After the ousting of Khrushchev in 1964, Kosygin was appointed head of government. However, Kosygin's prestige was weakened when he proposed the economic reform of 1965. Upon Valentin Pavlov's ascension to the premiership, the Council of Ministers was abolished and replaced with the Cabinet of Ministers. After the failed August coup of 1991 and the revelation that the majority of the cabinet members endorsed the coup, the Cabinet of Ministers was dissolved and replaced by the Committee on the Operational Management of the Soviet economy in 1991. The government of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic began seizing Soviet ministries in the aftermath of the coup, and by December 1991 the Soviet government had lost control.
The 1965 Soviet economic reform, sometimes called the Kosygin reform or Liberman reform, were a set of planned changes in the economy of the USSR. A centerpiece of these changes was the introduction of profitability and sales as the two key indicators of enterprise success. Some of an enterprise's profits would go to three funds, used to reward workers and expand operations; most would go to the central budget.
Valentin Sergeyevich Pavlov was a Soviet official who became a Russian banker following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Born in the city of Moscow, then part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Pavlov began his political career in the Ministry of Finance in 1959. Later, during the Brezhnev Era, he became head of the Financial Department of the State Planning Committee. Pavlov was appointed to the post of Chairman of the State Committee on Prices during the Gorbachev Era, and later became Minister of Finance in Nikolai Ryzhkov's second government. He went on to succeed Ryzhkov as head of government in the newly established post of Prime Minister of the Soviet Union.
The 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt, also known as the August Coup, was an attempt made by members of the government of the USSR to take control of the country from Soviet President and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. The coup leaders were hard-line members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) who were opposed to Gorbachev's reform program and the new union treaty that he had negotiated which decentralized much of the central government's power to the republics. They were opposed, mainly in Moscow, by a short but effective campaign of civil resistance led by Russian president Boris Yeltsin, who had been both an ally and critic of Gorbachev. Although the coup collapsed in only two days and Gorbachev returned to power, the event destabilized the USSR and is widely considered to have contributed to both the demise of the CPSU and the dissolution of the USSR.
Under the 1977 Soviet Constitution, the head of government was the leader of the highest executive and administrative organ of state. It functioned as the most influential office of government until the establishment of the Office of the President of the Soviet Union in 1990. The head of government was responsible and accountable to the Supreme Soviet (and its Presidium).The head of government was tasked with resolving all state administrative duties within the jurisdiction of the USSR to the degree which were not the responsibility of the Supreme Soviet or its Presidium. The head of government managed the national economy, formulated the five-year plans and ensured socio-cultural development.
The President of the Soviet Union, officially called President of the USSR or President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was the head of state of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from 15 March 1990 to 25 December 1991. Mikhail Gorbachev was the only person to occupy the office. Gorbachev was also General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union between March 1985 and August 1991. He derived an increasingly greater share of his power from his position as president until he finally resigned as General Secretary after the 1991 coup d'état attempt.
The Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union was the most authoritative legislative body of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) beginning 1936, and the only one with the power to approve constitutional amendments. It elected the Presidium, served as the collective head of state of the USSR, and appointed the Council of Ministers, the Supreme Court, and the Procurator General of the USSR.
The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet was a Soviet governmental institution – a permanent body of the Supreme Soviets (parliaments). This body was of the all-Union level, as well as in all Soviet republics and autonomous republics. Structure and functions of the presidiums in these republics were virtually identical. The presidiums were elected by the Supreme Soviet to act on its behalf while the Supreme Soviet was not in session. By the 1936 and 1977 Soviet Constitution the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet served as the collective head of state of the USSR.
Twelve individuals became head of government. Of these, two died in office of natural causes (Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin), three resigned (Alexei Kosygin, Nikolai Tikhonov and Ivan Silayev) and three held the offices of party secretary and head of government concurrently (Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev). Lenin was elected the first head of government on 6 July 1923 by a decision of the Central Executive Committee. Ivan Silayev spent the briefest time in office at 126 days. At more than 16 years, Kosygin spent the longest time in office.
Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known by his alias Lenin, was a Russian revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. He served as head of government of Soviet Russia from 1917 to 1924 and of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1924. Under his administration, Russia and then the wider Soviet Union became a one-party communist state governed by the Russian Communist Party. Ideologically a communist, he developed a variant of Marxism known as Leninism; his ideas were posthumously codified as Marxism–Leninism.
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Georgian revolutionary and Soviet politician who led the Soviet Union from the mid–1920s until 1953 as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952) and Premier (1941–1953). Initially presiding over a collective leadership as first among equals, by the 1930s he was the country's de facto dictator. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin formalised these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies are known as Stalinism.
Alexei Nikolayevich Kosygin was a Soviet-Russian statesman during the Cold War. Kosygin was born in the city of Saint Petersburg in 1904 to a Russian working-class family. He was conscripted into the labour army during the Russian Civil War, and after the Red Army's demobilisation in 1921, he worked in Siberia as an industrial manager. Kosygin returned to Leningrad in the early 1930s and worked his way up the Soviet hierarchy. During the Great Patriotic War, Kosygin was a member of the State Defence Committee and was tasked with moving Soviet industry out of territories soon to be overrun by the German Army. He served as Minister of Finance for a year before becoming Minister of Light Industry. Stalin removed Kosygin from the Politburo one year before his own death in 1953, intentionally weakening Kosygin's position within the Soviet hierarchy.
|Took office||Left office||Duration|
|1|| Vladimir Lenin |
|6 July 1923||21 January 1924 †||199 days||–||Lenin I–II|
|2|| Alexei Rykov |
|2 February 1924||19 December 1930||6 years, 320 days|| 1924 |
|3|| Vyacheslav Molotov |
|19 December 1930||6 May 1941||10 years, 138 days|| 1931 |
|4|| Joseph Stalin |
|6 May 1941||5 March 1953 †||11 years, 303 days|| 1946 |
|5|| Georgy Malenkov |
|6 March 1953||8 February 1955||1 year, 339 days||1954||Malenkov I–II|
|6|| Nikolai Bulganin |
|8 February 1955||27 March 1958||3 years, 47 days||1958||Bulganin|
|7|| Nikita Khrushchev |
|27 March 1958||14 October 1964||6 years, 201 days||1962||Khrushchev I–II|
|8|| Alexei Kosygin |
|15 October 1964||23 October 1980||16 years, 8 days|| 1966 |
|9|| Nikolai Tikhonov |
|23 October 1980||27 September 1985||4 years, 339 days||1984||Tikhonov I–II|
|10|| Nikolai Ryzhkov |
|27 September 1985||14 January 1991||5 years, 109 days||1989||Ryzhkov I–II|
|11|| Valentin Pavlov |
|14 January 1991||22 August 1991||220 days||–||Pavlov|
|12|| Ivan Silayev |
|6 September 1991||26 December 1991||111 days||–||Silayev|
|This article is part of a series on the|
|Politics of the Soviet Union|
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