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List of heads of state of the Soviet Union

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Constitution of the Soviet Union recognised the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and the earlier Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the Congress of Soviets as the highest organs of state authority in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) between legislative sessions. Under the 1924, 1936 and 1977 Soviet Constitutions these bodies served as the collective head of state of the Soviet Union.[1] The Chairman of these bodies personally performed the largely ceremonial functions assigned to a single head of state[2] but was provided little real power by the constitution.

The Soviet Union was established in 1922. However, the country's first constitution was only adopted in 1924. Before that time, the 1918 Constitution of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic functioned as the constitution of the USSR. According to the 1918 Constitution, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee (CEC), whose chairman was head of state, had the power to determine what matters of income and taxation would go to the state budget and what would go to the local soviets. The CEC could also limit taxes.[3] In periods between convocations of the Congress of Soviets the CEC held supreme power.[4] In between sessions of the Congress of Soviets the CEC was responsible for all the affairs of the Congress of Soviets.[5] The CEC and the Congress of Soviets was replaced by the Presidium and the Supreme Soviet respectively by several amendments to the 1936 Constitution in 1938.[6]

Under the 1977 Constitution, the Supreme Soviet was the highest organ of state power and the sole organ in the country to hold legislative authority.[6] Sessions of the Supreme Soviet were convened by the Presidium twice a year; however, special sessions could be convened on the orders of a Union Republic.[6] In the event of a disagreement between the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities the Presidium could form a conciliation commission. If this commission failed, the Presidium could dissolve the Supreme Soviet and order new elections.[6] The Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, along with the first and fifteen other vice chairmen, would be elected by the deputies of the Supreme Soviet.[7] In practice, the Chairman of the Presidium held little influence over policy ever since the delegation of the office's power to the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) during Joseph Stalin's rule.[8]

The Presidency was established in 1990 and the President would, according to the altered constitution, be elected by the Soviet people by direct and secret ballot. However, the first and only Soviet President, Mikhail Gorbachev, was elected by the democratically elected Congress of People's Deputies.[9] In connection with the dissolution of the Soviet Union national elections for the office of President never took place. To be elected to the office a person must have been a Soviet citizen and older than thirty-five but younger than sixty-five years. The same person could not be elected president more than twice.[10] The Presidency was the highest state office, and was the most important office in the Soviet Union by influence and recognition, eclipsing that of Premier (later renamed to Prime Minister) and General Secretary. With the establishment of the Presidency executive power was shared between the President and the Prime Minister. The President was given broad powers, such as being responsible for negotiating the membership of the Cabinet of Ministers with the Supreme Soviet;[11] the Prime Minister, however, was responsible for managing the nomenklatura and economic matters.[12]

List of Presidents

Of the eleven individuals appointed head of state, three died in office of natural causes (Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko), one held the position in a temporary role (Vasili Kuznetsov), and four held posts of party leader and head of state simultaneously (Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko and Mikhail Gorbachev). The first head of state was Mikhail Kalinin, who was inaugurated in 1922 after the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR. At over twenty years, Kalinin spent the longest time in office; he died shortly after his resignation in 1946. Andropov spent the shortest time in office.

Heads of the Russian Soviet Republic (1917–1922)

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term Congress
Meetings
Took office Left office Duration
Chairmen of the Central Executive Committee of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets
(1917–1922)
1
Lev Kamenev in 1922.jpg
Lev Kamenev
(1883–1936)
9 November 1917 21 November 1917 12 days 2nd Congress
2
Old Russia - Yakov Sverdlov 1918-1.jpg
Yakov Sverdlov
(1885–1919)
21 November 1917 16 March 1919 † 1 year, 115 days 3rd6th Congress
Vladimirskiy Mikhail Fedorovich.jpg
Mikhail Vladimirsky
(1874–1951)
Acting
16 March 1919 30 March 1919 14 days
3
Калинин М. И. (1920).jpg
Mikhail Kalinin
(1875–1946)
30 March 1919 30 December 1922 3 years, 275 days 7th10th Congress

Heads of the Soviet Union (1922–1991)

No.
[note 1]
Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term Supreme Soviet
Convocations
[note 2]
Took office Left office Duration
1 Chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the Congress of Soviets
(1922–1938)
Калинин М. И. (1920).jpg
Mikhail Kalinin
(1875–1946)[13]
30 December 1922 12 January 1938 15 years, 13 days 1st8th Convocation
Chairmen of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet
(1938–1989)
Калинин М. И. (1920).jpg
Mikhail Kalinin
(1875–1946)[13]
17 January 1938 19 March 1946 8 years, 61 days 1st Convocation
2
Николай Михайлович Шверник.jpg
Nikolai Shvernik
(1888–1970)[14]
19 March 1946 15 March 1953 6 years, 361 days 2nd–3rd Convocation
3
Kliment Voroshilov.jpg
Kliment Voroshilov
(1881–1969)[15]
15 March 1953 7 May 1960 7 years, 53 days 3rd–5th Convocation
4
Staatshoofden, portretten, Bestanddeelnr 925-6564.jpg
Leonid Brezhnev
(1906–1982)[16]
7 May 1960 15 July 1964 4 years, 69 days 5th–6th Convocation
5
Анастас Иванович Микоян.jpg
Anastas Mikoyan
(1895–1978)[17]
15 July 1964 9 December 1965 1 year, 147 days 6th Convocation
6
Nikolai Podgorny in 1973.jpg
Nikolai Podgorny
(1903–1983)[18]
9 December 1965 16 June 1977 11 years, 189 days 6th–9th Convocation
(4)
Staatshoofden, portretten, Bestanddeelnr 925-6564.jpg
Leonid Brezhnev
(1906–1982)[16]
16 June 1977 10 November 1982 5 years, 147 days 9th–10th Convocation
Kuznetzov 43062X8X18.JPG
Vasili Kuznetsov
(1901–1990)
Acting
[19]
10 November 1982 16 June 1983 218 days 10th Convocation
7
Yuri Andropov - Soviet Life, August 1983.jpg
Yuri Andropov
(1914–1984)[20]
16 June 1983 9 February 1984 238 days
Kuznetzov 43062X8X18.JPG
Vasili Kuznetsov
(1901–1990)
Acting
[19]
9 February 1984 11 April 1984 62 days 11th Convocation
8 Konstantin Chernenko
(1911–1985)[20]
11 April 1984 10 March 1985 333 days
Kuznetzov 43062X8X18.JPG
Vasili Kuznetsov
(1901–1990)[19]
10 March 1985 27 July 1985 139 days
9
Andrei Gromyko 1972 (cropped).jpg
Andrei Gromyko
(1909–1989)[21]
27 July 1985 1 October 1988 3 years, 66 days
10
Gorbachev (cropped).png
Mikhail Gorbachev
(1931–2022)[22]
1 October 1988 25 May 1989 236 days 11th–12th Convocation
Chairman of the Supreme Soviet
(1989–1990)[note 3]
Gorbachev (cropped).png
Mikhail Gorbachev
(1931–2022)[22]
25 May 1989 15 March 1990 294 days 12th Convocation
President of the Soviet Union
(1990–1991)
Gorbachev (cropped).png
Mikhail Gorbachev
(1931–2022)[22]
15 March 1990 25 December 1991 1 year, 285 days 12th Convocation

List of Vice Presidents

There have been four individuals appointed vice head of state. At over eight years, Vasily Kuznetsov spent the longest time in office. Gennady Yanayev spent the shortest time in office.

No.
[note 1]
Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term Supreme Soviet
Convocations
[note 2]
Took office Left office Duration
First Vice Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet
(1977–1989)
1
Kuznetzov 43062X8X18.JPG
Vasili Kuznetsov
(1901–1990)[19]
7 October 1977 18 June 1986 8 years, 254 days 9th–11th Convocation
2
No image.png
Pyotr Demichev
(1917–2010)[24]
18 June 1986 1 October 1988 2 years, 105 days 11th Convocation
3
Анатолий Лукьянов (депутат) (cropped).jpg
Anatoly Lukyanov
(1930–2019)[25]
1 October 1988 25 May 1989 236 days 11th–12th Convocation
Vice Chairman of the Supreme Soviet
(1989–1990)
Анатолий Лукьянов (депутат) (cropped).jpg
Anatoly Lukyanov
(1930–2019)[25]
25 May 1989 15 March 1990 294 days 12th Convocation
Vice President of the Soviet Union
(1990–1991)
4
No image.png
Gennady Yanayev
(1937–2010)[26]
27 December 1990 21 August 1991[note 4] 237 days 12th Convocation
Office abolished[28] 21 August 1991 26 December 1991[note 5] 127 days

See also

Soviet Union-related
Russia-related

Notes

  1. ^ a b Repeat head of state and vice heads of state are numbered only once; subsequent terms are marked with their original number italicised. Acting heads of state are not numbered. These numbers are not official.
  2. ^ a b A convocation in the Soviet sense of the word were elected members of Parliament in between elections.
  3. ^ On 15 March 1990 most constitutional powers were transferred to the newly created office of President of the Soviet Union. Anatoly Lukyanov was elected Chairman of the Supreme Soviet to replace Mikhail Gorbachev. Although the Chairman's office retained its name, it was now that of a parliamentary speaker, not a head of state. Real executive powers were retained by Gorbachev.[23]
  4. ^ Yanayev was Acting President of the Soviet Union during the August Coup of 1991, but was jailed following the coup's collapse and Gorbachev returned to his post as President.[27]
  5. ^ Following the failed August Coup of 1991 the State Council was given the power to elect a Vice President in the temporary absence of the President.[28]

References

  1. ^ Armstrong, John Alexander (January 1, 1978). Ideology, Politics, and Government in the Soviet Union: An Introduction– Google Knihy. ISBN 9780819154057. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
  2. ^ Isham, Heyward (1995). Remaking Russia. M.E. Sharpe. p. 218. ISBN 978-1-56324-436-0.
  3. ^ Всероссийский съезд Советов. Статья №81 от 10 июля 1918 г. «Бюджетное право». (All-Russian Congress of Soviets. Article #81 of 10 July 1918 The Budget. ).
  4. ^ Всероссийский съезд Советов. Статья №30 от 10 июля 1918 г. «О Всероссийском съезде Советов рабочих, крестьянских, казачьих и красноармейских депутатов». (All-Russian Congress of Soviets. Article #30 of 10 July 1918 The All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers', Peasants', Cossacks', and Red Army Deputies. ).
  5. ^ Всероссийский съезд Советов. Статья №29 от 10 июля 1918 г. «О Всероссийском съезде Советов рабочих, крестьянских, казачьих и красноармейских депутатов». (All-Russian Congress of Soviets. Article #29 of 10 July 1918 The All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers', Peasants', Cossacks', and Red Army Deputies. ).
  6. ^ a b c d Съезд Советов СССР. Статья №30–56 от 10 июля1918 г. «Высшие органы государственной власти Союза Советских Социалистических Республик». (Congress of Soviets of the Soviet Union. Article #30–56 of 10 July 1918 The Highest Organs of State Authority of The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. ).
  7. ^ Верховный Совет СССР. Статья №120 от 7 октября 1977 г. «Верховный Совет СССР». (Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. Article #120  The Supreme Soviet of the USSR. ).
  8. ^ Service, Robert (2005). Stalin: A Biography. Harvard University Press. p. 363. ISBN 978-0-674-01697-2.
  9. ^ Kort, Michael (2010). The Soviet Colossus: History and Aftermath. M.E. Sharpe. p. 394. ISBN 978-0-7656-2387-4.
  10. ^ Верховный Совет СССР. Статья №127.1 от 26 декабря 1990 г. «Президент СССР». (Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. Article #127.1 of 26 December 1990 President of the USSR. ).
  11. ^ Huskey, Eugene (1992). Executive Power and Soviet Politics: The Rise and Decline of the Soviet State. M.E. Sharpe. p. 90. ISBN 978-1-56324-059-1.
  12. ^ Huskey, Eugene (1999). Presidential Power in Russia. M.E. Sharpe. p. 16. ISBN 978-1-56324-536-7.
  13. ^ a b Shepilov, Dmitri; Austin, Anthony; Bittner, Stephen (2007). The Kremlin's Scholar: A Memoir of Soviet Politics under Stalin and Khrushchev. Yale University Press. p. 413. ISBN 978-0-300-09206-6.
  14. ^ Shepilov, Dmitri; Austin, Anthony; Bittner, Stephen (2007). The Kremlin's Scholar: A Memoir of Soviet Politics under Stalin and Khrushchev. Yale University Press. p. 441. ISBN 978-0-300-09206-6.
  15. ^ Shepilov, Dmitri; Austin, Anthony; Bittner, Stephen (2007). The Kremlin's Scholar: A Memoir of Soviet Politics under Stalin and Khrushchev. Yale University Press. p. 406. ISBN 978-0-300-09206-6.
  16. ^ a b Bliss Eaton, Katherine (2004). Daily Life in the Soviet Union. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-313-31628-9.
  17. ^ Shepilov, Dmitri; Austin, Anthony; Bittner, Stephen (2007). The Kremlin's Scholar: A Memoir of Soviet Politics under Stalin and Khrushchev. Yale University Press. p. 404. ISBN 978-0-300-09206-6.
  18. ^ Ploss, Sidney (2010). The Roots of Perestroika: the Soviet Breakdown in Historical Context. McFarland & Company. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-7864-4486-1.
  19. ^ a b c d Кузнецов Василий Васильевич [Vasili Vasilyevich Kuznetsov] (in Russian). World History on the Internet. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
  20. ^ a b Ploss, Sidney (2010). The Roots of Perestroika: the Soviet Breakdown in Historical Context. McFarland & Company. p. 216. ISBN 978-0-7864-4486-1.
  21. ^ Ploss, Sidney (2010). The Roots of Perestroika: the Soviet Breakdown in Historical Context. McFarland & Company. p. 217. ISBN 978-0-7864-4486-1.
  22. ^ a b c Bliss Eaton, Katherine (2004). Daily Life in the Soviet Union. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 32. ISBN 978-0-313-31628-9.
  23. ^ Anderson, John (1994). Religion, state, and politics in the Soviet Union and successor states. Cambridge University Press. p. 188. ISBN 978-0-521-46784-1.
  24. ^ Петр Демичев : Умер министр культуры СССР Петр Демичев [The Minister of Culture of the USSR Pyotr Demichev dies] (in Russian). Peoples.ru (Lenta.Ru). Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  25. ^ a b Evtuhov, Catherine; Stites, Richard (2004). A History of Russia: Peoples, Legends, Events, Forces since 1800. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 474. ISBN 978-0-395-66073-7.
  26. ^ Schwirz, Michael (24 September 2010). "Gennadi I. Yanayev, 73, Soviet Coup Plotter, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  27. ^ Staff writer (10 February 2011). "Soviet Coup Leader Gennady Yanayev Dies". BBC Online. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  28. ^ a b Government of the USSR: Gorbachev, Mikhail (5 September 1991). Закон "Об органах государственной власти и управления Союза ССР в переходный период" [Law: On the bodies of State Authority and Administration of the USSR in the Period of Transition] (in Russian). Soyuz Sovietskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik. Retrieved 13 February 2011.

This page was last edited on 3 October 2022, at 14:07
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