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Premier of the Soviet Union
|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.
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.
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 it's 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 it's Presidium. The head of government managed the national economy, formulated the five-year plans and ensured socio-cultural development.
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.
|Took office||Left office||Length of tenure||Electorate||Cabinets|
|6 July 1923||21 January 1924||199 days||—||Lenin I–II|
|2 February 1924||19 December 1930||6 years, 320 days||1924, 1925, 1927, 1929||Rykov I–V|
|19 December 1930||6 May 1941||10 years, 138 days||1931, 1935, 1936, 1937||Molotov I–IV|
|6 May 1941||5 March 1953||11 years, 303 days||1946, 1950||Stalin I–III|
|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 I|
|27 March 1958||14 October 1964||6 years, 201 days||1962||Khrushchev I–II|
|15 October 1964||23 October 1980||16 years, 8 days||1966, 1970, 1974, 1979||Kosygin I–V|
|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||22 August 1991||220 days||—||Pavlov I|
|-||6 September 1991||26 December 1991||111 days||—||Silayev I|
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