Acting President of Russia

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Acting President of
Executive branch in Russian Politics
StatusActing Head of State
Head of Government (ex officio according to the Constitution)
Member ofGovernment
State Council
Security Council
Term lengthSituational
Constituting instrumentConstitution of Russia

The Acting President of the Russian Federation (Russian: Исполняющий обязанности Президента Российской Федерации) is a temporary post provided by the Constitution of Russia. The Acting President is a person who fulfills the duties of President of the Russian Federation when cases of incapacity and vacancy occur. This post is held by the Prime Minister of Russia.



Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin assumed the role of Acting President when President Boris Yeltsin underwent heart surgery. Chernomyrdin served for one day, from 5 November to 6 November 1996.[1] No major event occurred during that time.



During the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis, Vice President Alexander Rutskoy was named by Parliament as the Acting President when the legislature announced Yeltsin's removal from office. On 21 September 1993 at 12:22 a.m., Rutskoy assumed the powers of acting president of Russia. He took the presidential oath, stating, "I am taking the authority of President. The anti-constitutional decree of President Yeltsin is annulled."

Rutskoy's interim presidency, although constitutional, was never acknowledged outside of Russia. After the two-week standoff and the violence on the streets of Moscow, on 4 October 1993 the Parliament building was taken by Yeltsin's military forces. Rutskoy and his supporters were arrested and charged with organization of mass disturbances. On the same day, Yeltsin officially dismissed Rutskoy as vice president and fired him from the military forces. The Vice Presidency was abolished.


After Yeltsin's resignation on 31 December 1999, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin became the Acting President until election. Snap election were held in March 2000 and were won by Putin. He officially took office of President on 7 May 2000.[2]

Legislative gap[edit]

The Constitution does not explicitly specify who should become Acting President if the Prime Minister is not appointed or is unable to perform his or her duties. This gap is to some extent filled by the Federal Constitutional Law "About the Government of the Russian Federation", article 8 of which states:[3]

Accordingly, if it is assumed that the performance of the duties of the President in urgent cases is one of the direct duties of the Prime Minister, and his deputies are authorized to perform all his duties in case of his absence, the duties of the President should be temporarily assigned to one of the Deputy Prime Ministers in the order of substitution, established by the order of the Prime Minister. However, the legality of the temporary performance of the duties of the President by the Deputy Prime Ministers is groundless, both from practical and theoretical positions. So far, these gaps in the legislation have not yet manifested themselves.[4]

On the other hand, some believe that if the Prime Minister cannot serve as Acting President, the Acting President should be the Chairman of the Federation Council.[5][6] However, nowhere in the legislation is this fixed.


  Independent   Our Home – Russia   Unity

Portrait Name Affiliation Term of office Qualifying office Notes
Evstafiev-alexander-rutskoy-w.jpg Alexander Rutskoy
Александр Руцкой
(1947-09-16) September 16, 1947 (age 71)
Independent September 22, 1993 October 4, 1993 Vice President De jure, Rutskoy was Acting President, during the 1993 constitutional crisis
after Boris Yeltsin's removal from office by Supreme Soviet.
At the same time, Yeltsin continued to serve as President.
Viktor Chernomyrdin-1.jpg Viktor Chernomyrdin
Виктор Черномырдин
(1938-04-09)April 9, 1938 – November 3, 2010(2010-11-03) (aged 72)
Our Home – Russia November 5, 1996 November 6, 1996 Prime Minister Acting President during President Yeltsin's heart surgery.
Vladimir Putin 4 January 2000.jpg Vladimir Putin
Владимир Путин
(1952-10-07) October 7, 1952 (age 66)
Unity December 31, 1999 May 7, 2000 Prime Minister Became acting president when President Yeltsin resigned.


  1. ^ "Chernomyrdin, Viktor Stepanovich". Archived from the original on May 16, 2008.
  2. ^ Bohlen, Celestine (January 1, 2000). "Yeltsin Resigns: The Overview; Yeltsin Resigns, Naming Putin as Acting President To Run in March Election". New York Times.
  3. ^ Статья 8. Исполнение обязанностей Председателя Правительства Российской Федерации
  5. ^ Миронов третьим не будет
  6. ^ Сергей Шахрай: Конституция началась с трёх листов бумаги