After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian Council of Ministers had become the main executive body. At some points it contained over 69 state committees, 16–17 ministers, 5 federal services, and over 46 governmental agencies. After the 2004 reform, government duties were split between 17 ministries, 5 federal services, and over 30 governmental agencies.
The prime minister is appointed by the president of the Russian Federation (currently Vladimir Putin), and confirmed by the State Duma. He or she succeeds to the presidency if the current president dies, is incapacitated, or resigns. The current prime minister is Dmitry Medvedev.
The body was preceded by Government of the Soviet Union. Since the Russian Federation emerged in 1991, the government's structure has undergone several major changes. In the initial years, government bodies, primarily the different ministries, underwent massive reorganization as the old Soviet governing networks were adapted to the new state. Many reshuffles and renamings occurred.
On November 28, 1991, President of the RSFSR Boris Yeltsin signed presidential decree №242 "On reorganization of the government bodies of the RSFSR" (Russian: "О реорганизации центральных органов государственного управления РСФСР").