Premier of the Soviet Union
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 four different names throughout its existence: Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (1923–1946), Chairman of the Council of Ministers (1946–1991), Prime Minister of the Soviet Union (January – August 1991) and Chairman of the Committee on the Operational Management of the Soviet Economy (August–December 1991). Long before 1991 most non-Soviet sources referred to the post as "Premier" or "Prime Minister."
|Premier of the Soviet Union
Глава Правительства СССР
|Type||Head of government|
|Reports to||The Supreme Soviet|
|Residence||Kremlin Senate, Moscow|
|Appointer||the Supreme Soviet|
|Formation||6 July 1923|
|First holder||Vladimir Lenin|
|Final holder||Ivan Silayev|
|Abolished||26 December 1991|
|Succession||Prime Minister of the Russian Federation|
|Deputy||The First Deputy Premier|
Twelve individuals held the post. 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 were concurrently party leader and head of government (Lenin, Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev). By this account Ivan Silayev spent the briefest time in office at 119 days. At more than 16 years, Kosygin spent the longest time in office.
Lenin's First Government was created on 6 July 1923 by the Central Executive Committee with Lenin as its first chairman. 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 August coup of 1991, the majority of the cabinet members endorsed the coup, leading the Cabinet of Ministers dissolving and being 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 completely lost control of itself and shut down entirely.
Under the 1977 Soviet Constitution, the head of government was the leader of the highest executive and administrative organ of state. The head of government was appointed by 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. It functioned as the most influential office of government until the establishment of the Office of the President of the Soviet Union in 1990.
|Took office||Left office||Duration|
|6 July 1923||21 January 1924 †||228 days||–||Lenin I–II|
|2 February 1924||19 December 1930||6 years, 320 days||1924|
|19 December 1930||6 May 1941||10 years, 138 days||1931|
|6 May 1941||5 March 1953 †||11 years, 303 days||1946|
|6 March 1953||8 February 1955||1 year, 339 days||1954||Malenkov I–II|
|8 February 1955||27 March 1958||3 years, 47 days||1958||Bulganin|
|27 March 1958||15 October 1964||6 years, 202 days||1962||Khrushchev I–II|
|15 October 1964||23 October 1980||16 years, 8 days||1966|
|23 October 1980||27 September 1985||4 years, 339 days||1984||Tikhonov I–II|
|27 September 1985||14 January 1991||5 years, 109 days||1989||Ryzhkov I–II|
|14 January 1991||28 August 1991||226 days||–||Pavlov|
|28 August 1991||25 December 1991||119 days||–||Silayev|
|Politics of the Soviet Union|
- Bibliography of the Russian Revolution and Civil War § Government
- Bibliography of Stalinism and the Soviet Union § Government
- Bibliography of the Post Stalinist Soviet Union § Government
- Deputy Premier of the Soviet Union
- First Deputy Premier of the Soviet Union
- List of heads of state of the Soviet Union
- List of leaders of the Soviet Union
- These numbers are not official.
- On August 19, 1991, due to the illness of Valentin Pavlov, the duties of the head of the government of the USSR were assigned to First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Doguzhiyev.
- Центральный Исполнительный Комитет съезда Советов. Статья №38 от Декабрь 1977 «Суверенные права союзных республик». (Central Executive Committee of the Congress of Soviets. Article #38 of December 1924 Sovereign Rights of the Member Republics. ).
- Brown 2009, p. 403.
- Ferdinand 1993, p. 133.
- Верховный Совет СССР. Федеральный конституционный закон №130 от 7 октября 1977 «Совета Министров СССР». (Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. Article #130 of 7 October 1977 The Council of Ministers of the USSR. ).
- Верховный Совет СССР. Федеральный конституционный закон №131 от 7 октября 1977 «Совета Министров СССР». (Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. Article #131 of 7 October 1977 The Council of Ministers of the USSR. ).
- Cull, Culbert & Welch 2003, p. 182.
- Phillips 2000, p. 82.
- Phillips 2000, p. 89.
- Totten & Bartrop 2008, p. 76.
- Duiker & Spielvogel 2006, p. 572.
- Trahair & Miller 2004, p. 69.
- Trahair & Miller 2004, p. 37.
- Ploss 2010, p. 219.
- Валентин Сергеевич Павлов [Valentin Sergeyevich Pavlov] (in Russian). RU: Hrono. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
- Иван Степанович Силаев [Ivan Stepanovich Silayev] (in Russian). RU: Hrono. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
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- Coppa, Frank (2006). Encyclopedia of Modern Dictators: From Napoleon to the Present. Peter Lang. ISBN 978-0820450100.
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- Duiker, William; Spielvogel, Jackson (2006). The Essential World History. Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-0495902270.
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- Fainsod, Merle; Hough, Jerry F. (1979). How the Soviet Union is Governed. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0674410305.
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- Garcelon, Marc (2005). Revolutionary Passage: From Soviet to Post-Soviet Russia, 1985–2000. Temple University Press. ISBN 978-1592133628.
- Harris, Jonathan (2005). Subverting the System: Gorbachev's Reform of the Party's Apparat, 1986–1991. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0742526792.
- Kotz, David Michael; Weir, Fred (2007). Russia's Path from Gorbachev to Putin: The Demise of the Soviet System and the New Russia (2nd ed.). Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0415701471.
- Phillips, Steven (2000). Lenin and the Russian Revolution. Heinemann. ISBN 978-0-435-32719-4.
- Ploss, Sidney (2010). The Roots of Perestroika: The Soviet Breakdown in Historical Context. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0786444861.
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- Sebag-Montefiore, Simon (2005). Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar. Vintage Books. ISBN 978-1400042302.
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- Service, Robert (2005). Stalin: A Biography. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0674016972.
- Totten, Samuel; Bartrop, Paul (2008). Dictionary of Genocide: A–L. 1. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0313346422.
- Trahair, Richard; Miller, Robert (2004). Encyclopedia of Cold War Espionage, Spies, and Secret Operations. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1929631759.
- Young, Gregory; Braden, Nate (2005). The Last Sentry: The True Story That Inspired the Hunt for Red October. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1591149927.
- Zemtsov, Ilya (1989). Chernenko, the Last Bolshevik: The Soviet Union on the eve of Perestroika. Transaction Publishers. ISBN 978-0887382604.