Council of People's Commissars

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Chronology of Soviet
security agencies
GPU 5th anniversary emblem.png GPU 15th anniversary emblem.png NKVD Emblem (Gradient).svg Emblema KGB.svg
1917–22 Cheka under SNK of the RSFSR
(All-Russian Extraordinary Commission)
1922–23 GPU under NKVD of the RSFSR
(State Political Directorate)
1923–34 OGPU under SNK of the USSR
(Joint State Political Directorate)
1934–46 NKVD of the USSR
(People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs)
1934–41 GUGB of the NKVD of the USSR
(Main Directorate of State Security of
People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs)
1941 NKGB of the USSR
(People's Commissariat of State Security)
1934–46 NKVD of the USSR
(People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs)
1943–46 NKGB of the USSR
(People's Commissariat for State Security)
1946–53 MGB of the USSR
(Ministry of State Security)
1947–51

KI MID of the USSR
(Committee of Information under Ministry
of Foreign Affairs)

1946–54 MVD of the USSR
(Ministry of Internal Affairs)
1954–78 KGB under SM of the USSR
(Committee for State Security)
1978–91 KGB of the USSR
(Committee for State Security)
1991 MSB of the USSR
(Interrepublican Security Service)
1991 TsSB of the USSR
(Central Intelligence Service)
1991 KOGG of the USSR
(Committee for the Protection of
the State Border)

The Council of People's Commissars (SNK; Russian: Совет народных комиссаров (СНК), Soviet narodnykh kommissarov), commonly known as the Sovnarkom (Совнарком), were the highest executive authorities of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR), the Soviet Union (USSR), and the Soviet republics from 1917 to 1946.

The Sovnarkom of the RSFSR was founded in the Russian Republic soon after the October Revolution in 1917 and its role was formalized in the 1918 Constitution of the RSFSR to be responsible to the Congress of Soviets of the RSFSR for the "general administration of the affairs of the state". The Sovnarkom of the USSR and Congress of Soviets of the USSR founded in 1922 were modelled on the RSFSR system, and identical Sovnarkom bodies were founded in the Soviet republics and autonomous republics. The Sovnarkom evolved into the main executive of the government of the Soviet Union with its head, the Premier of the USSR, serving as head of government. The Sovnarkom issued decrees having the force of law when the Congress was not in session, and if these decrees were not approved at the Congress's next session, they were considered revoked. The principles of democratic centralism meant the Congress merely rubber-stamped Sovnarkom decrees at its next session.

The Sovnarkom was dissolved and transformed into the Council of Ministers in 1946.[1]

Original People's Commissars[edit]

The first council elected by the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets was composed as follows. Many early commisars later opposed the party majority organized by Stalin and allegedly conspired with the Trotskyist opposition[2] or some other opposition group, which resulted in their expulsion from the party or being arrested. The party had banned factional opposition groups at the Eleventh Party Congress during 1921.[3] Still the original People's Comissariat included Left-Communists, Trotskyists and other ex-oppositionists. Most alleged conspirators were executed for treason during the Great Purge, some had sentences reduced to imprisonment.[4]

People's Commissar Original incumbent Death
Chairman Vladimir Lenin Stroke, 1924
Head of the Administration of the Council (Secretary) Vladimir Bonch-Bruyevich Natural causes, 1955
People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the RSFSR Leon Trotsky Assassinated 1940
People's Commissariat for Agriculture Vladimir Milyutin died in prison 1937
Council of People's Commissars on War and Navy Affairs Nikolai Krylenko (War College) Executed 1938
Pavel Dybenko (Navy College) Executed 1938
People's Commissariat for Trade and Industry of the RSFSR Viktor Nogin Natural causes 1924
People's Commissariat for Education of the RSFSR Anatoly Lunacharsky Natural causes 1933
People's Commissariat for Food Ivan Teodorovich Executed 1937
People's Commissariat for Interior Affairs of the RSFSR Alexei Rykov Executed 1938
People's Commissariat for Justice Georgy Oppokov Executed 1938
People's Commissariat for Labour Alexander Shlyapnikov Executed 1937
People's Commissariat of Nationalities Joseph Stalin Natural causes 1953
People's Commissariat for Posts and Telegraphs of the RSFSR Nikolai Glebov-Avilov Executed 1937
People's Commissariat for Railways (vacant)
People's Commissariat for Finance Ivan Skvortsov-Stepanov Typhoid fever, 1928
People's Commissariat for Social Welfare Alexandra Kollontai Natural causes, 1952

All-Union Sovnarkom[edit]

Upon the creation of the USSR in 1922, the Soviet Union's government was modelled after the first Sovnarkom. The Soviet republics retained their own governments which dealt with domestic matters.

Sovmin[edit]

In 1946, the Sovnarkoms were transformed into the Council of Ministers (Sovmin) at both all-Union and Union Republic level.[1][5][6]

Councils by administrative division[edit]

Soviet republics[edit]

Autonomous republics[edit]

  • Council of People's Commissars (Adjara)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Volga German)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Bashkorstan)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Buryat-Mongolia)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Mountainous)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Dagestan)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Kabardin-Balkaria), including Kabardin (1944-1957)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Cossack)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Kalmykia)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Karakalpakistan)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Komi)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Crimea)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Mari)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Mordva)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Nakhichevan)
  • Council of People's Commissars (North Osetia)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Tatarstan)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Tuva)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Udmurtia)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Chechnia-Ingushetia)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Chuvashia)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Yakutia)
  • Council of People's Commissars (Abkhazia), including as autonomous

Short-lived early soviet republics[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "О преобразовании Совета Народных Комиссаров СССР в Совет Министров СССР и Советов Народных Комиссаров Союзных и Автономных республик в Советы Министров Союзных и Автономных республик" 15 марта 1946 года [On Reforming the Council of People's Commissars into the Council of Ministers, and the Councils of People's Commissars of Union and Autonomous Republics into the Councils of Ministers of Union and Autonomous Republics, 15 March 1946]. Legislation of the USSR 1946-1952 (in Russian). World and Market Economy - Collection of Articles on Economy, Igor Averin. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
  2. ^ Pierre Broué, The "Bloc" of the Oppositions against Stalin
  3. ^ Lenin, Vladimir. "Eleventh Congress Of The R.C.P.(B.) March 27-April 2, 1922". www.marxists.org.
  4. ^ Getty, Origins of the great purges
  5. ^ Huskey, Eugene (1992). Executive power and Soviet politics: the rise and decline of the Soviet state. M.E. Sharpe. p. 281. ISBN 978-1-56324-059-1.
  6. ^ Law, David A. (1975). Russian civilization. Ardent Media. p. 185. ISBN 978-0-8422-0529-0.

External links[edit]