Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

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The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, led by a chairman, was the de jure leader office of the Russian SFSR between 1938 and 1990. It was elected by the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.

Predecessor offices

The office was created as a replacement for the office of Chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets.

Political significance

Since the Russian SFSR enjoyed only limited autonomy within the Soviet Union until late into the perestroika period and since real executive power was in the hands of the Soviet Communist Party until 1990, the Supreme Soviet and the Chairman's office were mostly ceremonial. However, they became important in early 1990 when a newly elected Russian Congress of People's Deputies was split between Communist loyalists and their opponents. After days of parliamentary maneuvering, Boris Yeltsin was elected Chairman in May 1990. Soon thereafter, he resigned from the Communist Party and started building an independent power base within the Russian SFSR, which proved to be an important step on the way to the Soviet collapse in late 1991.


Note: In 1990 the position of Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet was abolished. Instead the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet became head of the republic in addition to serving as a parliamentary speaker. Boris Yeltsin was chairman 1990-1991. In early 1991, the post of President of Russia was created and executive powers were transferred from the Supreme Soviet to the President. The responsibilities of the Supreme Soviet Chairman were limited to those of a parliamentary speaker. Boris Yeltsin won the first presidential election in June 1991 and, upon inauguration, resigned from the office of the Supreme Soviet Chairman. He was succeeded by:

  • Ruslan Khasbulatov (October 29, 1991 – October 4, 1993), acting Chairman from July 10, 1991

Successor offices

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union on December 25, 1991, the Russian Supreme Soviet became the acting parliament of the Russian Federation with Khasbulatov as Chairman. It was dissolved during the Russian constitutional crisis of 1993. Supreme Soviet was succeeded by:

See also