|Premier of the Soviet Union
|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|
The Premier of the Soviet Union (Russian: ? ?) 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). Long before 1991, most non-Soviet sources referred to the post as "Premier" or "Prime Minister."
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). Ivan Silayev spent the briefest time in office at 126 days. At more than 16 years, Kosygin spent the longest time in office.
The first Soviet government was established 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 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 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 +||199 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|||