Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

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Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Ukrainian: Президія Верховної Ради УРСР) was a permanent body of the Supreme Council (Verkhovna Rada) that was accountable to it in its activity and, within the limits prescribed by the Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR, performed functions of the highest state power in the Ukrainian SSR. It was foreseen at the Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR (1937) and was elected for the first time on December 27, 1938, at the first session of Verkhovna Rada. The presidium was discontinued upon the adaption of the Constitution of Ukraine on June 28, 1996.


According to the Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR, the presidium was elected by the Verkhovna Rada from number of people's deputies. It was elected at the first session of each following convocation for the entire term of Verkhovna Rada.

Acts of the presidium, ukases and resolutions, possess the right of legislative initiative in the Verkhovna Rada. Upon the expiration of powers of Verkhovna Rada, the Presidium retains its powers until the creation of new presidium by newly elected Verkhovna Rada. The legal status, competence, order of formation and activity of the Presidium is defined by the Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR and the Verkhovna Rada procedural rules adopted by Verkhovna Rada.

After 1991 power of the presidium has narrowed. Some authority was delegated to the newly created post of the President of Ukraine, while more authority was transferred away to the Verkhovna Rada.


It was composed of a chairman and its three deputies, a secretary, and 20 other members of the presidium totaling in 25 members.

Initially in 1938 the composition consisted of a chairman and his two deputies, a secretary and 15 other members of the presidium. The changes to composition took place after adaptation of the Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR (1978).


  • Calls for election of the Verkhovna Rada and local councils (soviets) and elections of district (city) courts
  • Convening sessions of the Verkhovna Rada
  • Coordination of the parliament's permanent commissions
  • Control in activities of local councils (soviets)
  • Monitors observance of the Constitution
  • Gives interpretations of republican laws
  • Overrides decisions and regulations of the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR, decisions of regional and city councils (soviets) in case of their inconsistency with the law
  • Resolves issues concerning the administrative-territorial system
  • Establishes and changes borders of regions and its raions (districts)
    • decides issues on creation of raions and raions in city
    • transforms of urban settlements (towns) into cities
    • establishes the subordination of cities
    • provides name change of raions, cities and other populated sites
  • Establishes and awards honorary titles of the Ukrainian SSR
    • including Honorary Diploma and Diploma of the Presidium
  • Grants citizenship of the Ukrainian SSR
  • Solves issues concerning of granting asylum
    • issuing acts on amnesty
    • granting pardons to citizens convicted by courts of the Ukrainian SSR
  • Ratifies and denounces international treaties of the Ukrainian SSR
  • Appoints and recalls diplomatic representatives of the Ukrainian SSR in foreign countries and international organizations
  • Receives letters of credence and recall of accredited to it diplomatic representatives of foreign countries
  • If necessary, between sessions of Verkhovna Rada, provides changes to existing legislative acts of the Ukrainian SSR which are pending their approval at the next parliamentary session
  • Creates regions
  • Creates and liquidates ministries and state committees on a proposition of the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR
  • Appoints and relieves members of government on a proposal of Chairman of the Council of Ministers

List of chair persons[edit]

As chair persons of Verkhovna Rada[edit]

Notes: After 1990, chairperson of presidium was a chairperson of Verkhovna Rada as well. Position was discontinued with the new Constitution of Ukraine where Presidium was not mentioned.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Bezpalyi, I. Presidium of supreme councils of union republics. Moscow 1959
  • Krivenko, L. Constitution of the USSR and development of legislation of supreme councils of union republics. Comparative legal research. Kiev 1982
  • Bandurka, O., Dreval, Yu. Parliamentarism in Ukraine: establishment and development. Kharkiv 1999
  • Ukrainian parliamentarism: past and present. Kiev 1999
  • Kyslyi, P., Vaiz, Ch. Establishment of parliamentarism in Ukraine on the background of world experience. Kiev 2000

External links[edit]