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Council of Ministers of the USSR (Russian: Совет Министров СССР, tr.: Soviet Ministrov SSSR[1]; sometimes the abbreviation Sovmin was used) was the Soviet government—the highest executive and administrative body of the Soviet Union.[2] Between 1922 and 1946 it was named Council of People's Commissars of the USSR (Совет Народных Комиссаров СССР, tr.: Sovet Narodnykh Komissarov SSSR, often abbreviated to Sovnarkom or SNK). The Council of Ministers of the USSR was formed by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on the first session of each convocation, i.e. every four years.[2]





According to the 1918 Constitution of the RSFSR, the government of the Russian SFSR was named Council of People's Commissars (Sovet Narodnyh Komissarov, informally abbreviated Sovnarkom); a government minister was named People's Commissar (narkom) and ministries were called People's Commissariat (narkomat). The Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars had a function similar to that of a prime minister.

This convention was established during the events of the Revolution of 1917, when the Congress of Soviets introduced the first Council of People's Commissars of the Soviet Republic and elected Vladimir Lenin as first Chairman of the Sovnarkom.

Upon the creation of the USSR in 1922, the Union's government was modeled after the Sovnarkom of the RSFSR; the role of the All-Union Sovnarkom was fixed in the Constitution of the USSR in 1924.


In 1946, the All-Union Sovnarkom was renamed as the Council of Ministers of the USSR (Russian: Совет Министров СССР, tr.: Sovet Ministrov SSSR), and the People's Commissars and People's Commissariats became Ministers and ministries.

The Union Republics soon followed suit, renaming their local governments and ministers accordingly.


The building of the Council of Ministers of the USSR was situated inside the Moscow Kremlin, next to the building of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet.

See also


  1. ^ Ukrainian: Рада Міністрів СРСР; Belarusian: Савет Міністраў СССР; Kazakh: ССРО Министрлер Советі / Кеңесі; Lithuanian: TSRS Ministrų Taryba; Moldovan: Совет Миништрилор ал УРСС; Latvian: PSRS Ministru Padome; Kyrgyz: СССР Министрлер Совети; Estonian: NSVL Ministrite Nõukogu
  2. ^ a b Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd edition, entry on "Совет Министров СССР", available online here

External links


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