Soviet First League

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Soviet First League
Country Soviet Union
Founded 1936
Folded 1991
after 52 seasons
Level on pyramid 2
Promotion to Soviet Top League
Relegation to Soviet Second League
Last champions FC Rotor Volgograd (1)
Most championships FC Krylya Sovetov Samara (5)

The Soviet First League was the second highest division of Soviet football, below the Soviet Top League. The division lasted from the inception of Soviet league football in 1936 to the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.


It has been known as Group B, Group 2, Class B, and Class A, group 2 before being renamed First League in 1971. The number of teams playing at this level fluctuated significantly during the history of Soviet football. In 1940s-1970s the league frequently consisted of several groups. The group winners qualified for the final tournament.

  • 1936-1940 Group B (no competition in 1938)
  • 1945-1949 Second Group
  • 1950-1962 Class B
  • 1963-1969 Second Group (Class A)
  • 1970-1970 First Group (Class A)
  • 1971-1991 First League

One unusual feature of the league was one that have taken place before 1989. The Soviet Football Union tried to eliminate the growing amount of drawn games, thus, intensify the competition. The participated clubs were receiving a point for each drawn game, but the amount of all their drawn games could not exceed a third of all their games played. After that they received no points for any further draws that they earned. In 1987, for example, FC Fakel Voronezh was relegated by being short of a point having received no points for their two extra drawn games. [1]

The season's best[edit]

The teams that either won its group or participated in play-offs are included as well. All seasons are double-round robin unless otherwise indicated in "Notes".

Group B[edit]

Season Winner Runners-up Third Notes
1936 (spring) Dinamo Tiflis ZIS Moscow Stalinets Leningrad
1936 (autumn) Serp i Molot Moscow Temp Baku Stalinets Moscow
1937 Spartak Leningrad FC Dynamo Rostov/Don Temp Baku
1938 not held, part of the Super League
1939 Krylya Sovetov Moscow Lokomotivi Tbilisi FC Dynamo Rostov/Don single round robin
1940 Krasnaya Zarya Leningrad FC Spartak Leningrad Stroitel Yuga Baku
1941-44 no competition due to World War II

Second Group[edit]

Season Winner Runners-up Third
1945 Krylya Sovetov Kuybyshev VVS Moscow FC Moscow Military District
1946 South VVS Moscow DO Tbilisi FC Lokomotiv Kharkov
East FC Pischevik Moscow FC Torpedo Gorky FC MVO Moscow
Final VVS Moscow Pischevik Moscow
1947 Central FC Lokomotiv Moscow FC MVO Moscow FC Dynamo Riga
Russia I FC Torpedo Gorky FC Dynamo Saratov FC Zenit Izhevsk
Russia II FC Dzerzhinets Chelyabinsk ODO Novosibirsk FC Krylia Sovetov Molotov
Ukraine FC Lokomotyv Kharkiv FC Shakhtar Donetsk FC Kharchovyk Odessa
Caucasus ODO Tbilisi FC Dynamo Yerevan FC Lokomotivi Tbilisi
Middle Asia FC Dynamo Stalinabad FC Dynamo Alma-Ata FC Dynamo Tashkent
Final Lokomotiv Moscow Torpedo Gorkiy Lokomotyv Kharkiv
1948 Central FC Metallurg Moscow FC Dynamo Riga FC MVO Moscow
Russia I FC Dynamo Kazan FC Torpedo Gorky FC Krasnoye Znamia Ivanovo
Russia II FC Dzerzhinets Chelyabinsk ODO Novosibirsk ODO Sverdlovsk
Ukraine FC Lokomotyv Kharkiv FC Stal Dnipropetrovsk ODO Kyiv
South FC Dynamo Yerevan ODO Tbilisi FC Spartaki Tbilisi
Middle Asia ODO Tashkent FC Dynamo Alma-Ata FC Lokomotiv Ashkhabat
Final Lokomotyv Kharkiv Metallurg Moscow Dynamo Yerevan
1949 Central FC Spartaki Tbilisi FC Dynamo Kutaisi FC Spartak Vilnius
Russia I FC Dynamo Rostov-on-Don FC VMS Moscow FC Dynamo Krasnodar
Russia II DO Sverdlovsk DO Novosibirsk FC Dzerzhinets Chelyabinsk
Russia III FC Sudostroitel Leningrad DO Leningrad FC Metallurg Moscow
Russia IV FC Kalinin Kaliningrad FC Stroitel Dulevo FC Krasnoe Znamya Orekhovo-Zuyevo
Ukraine FC Kharchovyk Odessa FC Spartak Lviv ODO Kyiv
Final Spartak Tbilisi Kalinin Kaliningrad Kharchovyk Odessa

Class B[edit]

Season Winner Runners-up Third
1950 VMS Moscow Torpedo Gorkiy Spartak Vilnius
1951 Kalinin Dinamo Minsk Lokomotiv Moscow
1952 Kharkiv FC Spartak Vilnius FC Lokomotyv Kharkiv FC VMS Moscow
Ivanovo DO Tbilisi FC Krasnoe Znamya Ivanovo FC Dinamo Alma-Ata
Baku Neftçi PFK FC Burevestnik Chișinău FC Torpedo Gorky
Final Lokomotyv Kharkiv Spartak Vilnius DO Tbilisi
1953 Zone 1 FC Spartaki Tbilisi FC Dynamo Yerevan FC Torpedo Rostov-on-Don
Zone 2 FC Znamya Ivanovo FC Dinamo Minsk FC Metalurh Odessa
Zone 3 FC Shakhtar Stalino FC Torpedo Gorky FC Metalurh Zaporizhia
Final Dynamo Minsk Torpedo Gorkiy Shakhtar Stalino
1954 Zone 1 FC Spartak Yerevan Neftçi PFK ODO Tbilisi
Zone 2 FC Zenit Moscow Spartak Vilnius FC Khimik Moscow
Zone 3 FC Shakhtar Stalino FC Torpedo Rostov-on-Don FC Metalurh Zaporizhia
Final Shakhtar Stalino Spartak Vilnius Neftchi Baku
1955 Zone 1 Burevestnik Chisinau Spartak Kalinin ODO Kiev
Zone 2 ODO Sverdlovsk Spartak Yerevan ODO Tbilisi
1956 Zone 1 Spartak Minsk Torpedo Taganrog Metalurh Zaporizhia
Zone 2 Krylya Sovetov Kuybyshev ODO Tbilisi Spartak Yerevan
1957 Zone 1 FC Avangard Leningrad FC Torpedo Taganrog FC Avanhard Kharkiv
Zone 2 FC Spartak Stanislav SKVO Lviv FC Trudovyie Rezervy Leningrad
Zone 3 SKVO Tbilisi FC Spartak Yerevan Neftçi PFK
Far East SKVO Khabarovsk FC Dynamo Vladivostok FC Burevestnik Tomsk
Final Avangard Leningrad Spartak Stanislav SKVO Tbilisi
1958 Zone 1 SKVO Odessa FC Trudovyie Rezervy Leningrad FC Avanhard Mykolaiv
Zone 2 SKCF Sevastopol FC Metalurh Zaporizhia FC Rostselmash Rostov-on-Don
Zone 3 SKVO Lviv FC Spartak Minsk FC Lokomotyv Vinnytsia
Zone 4 SKVO Rostov-on-Don FC Spartak Yerevan FC Kuban Krasnodar
Zone 5 SKVO Sverdlovsk FC Kairat Alma-Ata FC Zvezda Perm
Zone 6 SKVO Khabarovsk FC Tomich Tomsk FC Urozhai Barnaul
Final SKVO Rostov-na-Donu SKVO Sverdlovsk SKCF Sevastopol
1959 Zone 1 FC Trud Voronezh FC Dynamo Kirov FC Avanhard Mykolaiv
Zone 2 FC Trudovyie Rezervy Leningrad FC Trud Glukhovo FC Avanhard Kharkiv
Zone 3 FC Spartak Yerevan FC Terek Grozny FC Torpedo Taganrog
Zone 4 FC Lokomotyv Vinnytsia FC Baltika Kaliningrad SKVO Odessa
Zone 5 FC Admiralteyets Leningrad FC Volga Kalinin FC Zenit Izhevsk
Zone 6 FC Pamir Leninabad FC Mashinostroitel Sverdlovsk FC Metallurg Magnitogorsk
Zone 7 SKVO Sverdlovsk FC Lokomotiv Krasnoyarsk SKVO Khabarovsk
Russia Final Admiralteyets Leningrad Trudovyie Reservy Leningrad[1] Trud Voronezh
1960 Russia I FC Trud Voronezh FC Spartak Leningrad FC Shakhter Stalinogorsk
Russia II FC Volga Kalinin FC Shinnik Yaroslavl FC Dynamo Kirov
Russia III FC Terek Grozny FC Torpedo Taganrog FC Spartak Krasnodar
Russia IV FC Metallurg Nizhny Tagil FC Zvezda Perm FC Lokomotiv Chelyabinsk
Russia V FC Irtysh Omsk SKA Khabarovsk FC Sibelektromotor Tomsk
Russia Final Trud Voronezh FC Irtysh Omsk Volga Kalinin
Ukraine I Sudnobudivnyk Mykolaiv FC Lokomotyv Vinnytsia FC Arsenal Kyiv
Ukraine II FC Metalurh Zaporizhia SKA Odessa FC Trudovi Rezervy Luhansk
Ukraine Final Metalurh Zaporizhzhya Sudobudivnyk Mykolaiv
Republics I FC Lokomotivi Tbilisi FC Urozhai Minsk FC Shirak Leninakan
Republics II FC Torpedo Kutaisi FC Pamir Leninabad FC Progress Baku
Republics Final Torpedo Kutaisi Lokomotivi Tbilisi
1961 Russia I FC Volga Kalinin FC Metallurg Cherepovets FC Dynamo Leningrad
Russia II FC Dynamo Kirov FC Baltika Kaliningrad FC Iskra Kazan
Russia III FC Krylia Sovietov Kuibyshev FC Sokol Saratov FC Traktor Stalingrad
Russia IV FC Terek Grozny FC Rostselmash Rostov-on-Don FC Torpedo Taganrog
Russia V FC Lokomotiv Chelyabinsk FC Uralmash Sverdlovsk FC Stroitel Ufa
Russia VI SKA Khabarovsk SKA Novosibirsk FC Luch Vladivostok
Russia Final Krylya Sovetov Kuybyshev Terek Grozny Dynamo Kirov
Ukraine I FC Chornomorets Odessa FC Lokomotyv Vinnytsia FC Zirka Kirovohrad
Ukraine II SKA Odessa FC Trudovi Rezervy Luhansk FC Avanhard Zhovti Vody
Ukraine Final Chornomorets Odessa SCA Odessa Lokomotyv Vinnytsia
Republics I FC Lokomotivi Tbilisi FC Shirak Leninakan Lokomotiv Gomel
Republics II FC Torpedo Kutaisi FC Shakhter Karaganda FC Metallurg Rustavi
1962 Russia I FC Shinnik Yaroslavl FC Spartak Leningrad FC Tekstilshchik Ivanovo
Russia II FC Trud Voronezh FC Trudovyie Rezervy Kursk FC Serpukhov
Russia III FC Spartak Krasnodar FC Traktor Volgograd FC Rostselmash Rostov-on-Don
Russia IV FC Uralmash Sverdlovsk FC Lokomotiv Chelyabinsk FC Iskra Kazan
Russia V SKA Novosibirsk SKA Khabarovsk FC Luch Vladivostok
Russia Final Spartak Krasnodar Trud Voronezh Uralmash Sverdlovsk
Ukraine I FC Chornomorets Odessa FC Polissya Zhytomyr FC Lokomotyv Donetsk
Ukraine II SKA Odessa FC Metalurh Zaporizhia SKA Kyiv
Ukraine III FC Trudovi Rezervy Luhansk Avanhard Simferopol FC Lokomotyv Vinnytsia
Ukraine Final Trudovye Rezervy Lugansk Chornomorets Odessa Avanhard Simferopol
Republics I Lokomotiv Gomel FC Shirak Leninakan FC Nairi Yerevan
Republics II FC Shakhter Karaganda FC Alga Frunze FC Metallurg Chimkent
Republics Final Shakhtyor Karaganda Lokomotiv Gomel

Second Group (Class A)[edit]

Season Winner Runners-up Third Notes
1963 Shinnik Yaroslavl Torpedo Gorkiy Trud Voronezh
1964 Subgroup 1 FC Avanhard Kharkiv FC Chornomorets Odessa FK Žalgiris
Subgroup 2 SCA Odessa FC Shakhter Karaganda Lokomotiv Moscow
Final Lokomotiv Moscow SCA Odessa Pakhtakor Tashkent
1965 Subgroup 1 FC Tekstilshchik Ivanovo FC Uralmash Sverdlovsk FC Avanhard Kharkiv
Subgroup 2 FC Shinnik Yaroslavl FC Zorya Luhansk FK Zalgiris
Final Ararat Yerevan Kairat Alma-Aty Avanhard Kharkiv
1966 Subgroup 1 FK Zalgiris FC Tekstilshchik Ivanovo FC Kuban Krasnodar
Subgroup 2 FC Zorya Luhansk SKA Kyiv SKA Lviv
Subgroup 3 FC Politodel FC Shakhter Karaganda FC Stroitel Ufa
Final Zorya Luhansk Žalgiris Vilnius Politotdel Tashkent
1967 Subgroup 1 FC Dinamo Kirovabad FK Daugava Riga FC Kuban Krasnodar
Subgroup 2 SKA Kyiv FC Metalurh Zaporizhia SKA Lviv
Subgroup 3 FC Shakhter Karaganda FC Uralmash Sverdlovsk FC Alga Frunze
Final Dynamo Kirovabad Shakhtar Karaganda SKA Kyiv
1968 Subgroup 1 FC Karpaty Lviv SKA Kyiv SKA Odessa
Subgroup 2 Sudnobudivnyk Mykolaiv FC Metalist Kharkiv FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
Subgroup 3 FC Uralmash Sverdlovsk FC Spartak Ordzhonikidze FC Dynamo Makhachkala
Subgroup 4 FC Irtysh Omsk FC Kuzbass Kemerovo SKA Khabarovsk
Final Uralmash Sverdlovsk Karpaty Lviv Irtysh Omsk
1969 Subgroup 1 FC Spartak Ordzhonikidze FC Dynamo Leningrad FC Kuban Krasnodar
Subgroup 2 SKA Khabarovsk FC Rubin Kazan FC Metallurg Kuibyshev
Subgroup 3 FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk SKA Kyiv FC Metalist Kharkiv
Subgroup 4 FK Zalgiris FC Shakhter Karaganda FC Lokomotivi Tbilisi
Final Spartak Ordzhonikidze Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk SKA Khabarovsk

First Group (Class A)[edit]

Season Winner Runners-up Third
1970 Karpaty Lviv Kairat Alma-Aty Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk

First League[edit]

Season Winner Runners-up Winner Notes
1971 Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk Lokomotiv Moscow Chornomorets Odessa
1972 Pakhtakor Tashkent Shakhtar Donetsk FC Chornomorets Odessa
1973 Chornomorets Odessa Nistru Kishenev Lokomotiv Moscow
1974 Lokomotiv Moscow SKA Rostov/Donu Dinamo Minsk
1975 Krylya Sovetov Kuybyshev Dinamo Minsk Torpedo Kutaisi
1976 Kairat Almaty Neftchi Baku Pakhtakor Tashkent
1977 Spartak Moscow Pakhtakor Tashkent Tavriya Simferopol
1978 Krylya Sovetov Kuybyshev SKA Rostov/Donu Dinamo Minsk
1979 Karpaty Lviv Kuban Krasnodar Pamir Dushanbe
1980 Tavriya Simferopol Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk Metalist Kharkiv
1981 Metalist Kharkiv Torpedo Kutaisi Lokomotiv Moscow
1982 Žalgiris Vilnius Nistru Kishenev Kolos Nikopol
1983 Kairat Almaty SKA Rostov/Donu Fakel Voronezh
1984 Fakel Voronezh Torpedo Kutaisi SKA Karpaty Lviv
1985 West FC Daugava Riga SKA Karpaty Lviv FC Kotayk
East FC Shinnik Yaroslavl FC Pamir Dushanbe FC CSKA Moscow
Final Daugava Rīga CSKA Moscow SKA Karpaty Lviv
1986 CSKA Moscow Guria Lanchkhuti Daugava Rīga
1987 Chornomorets Odessa Lokomotiv Moscow Daugava Rīga
1988 Pamir Dushanbe Rotor Volgograd CSKA Moscow
1989[2] CSKA Moscow Guria Lanchkhuti Kairat Alma-Aty
1990[3] Spartak Vladikavkaz Pakhtakor Tashkent Metalurh Zaporizhia
1991[4] Rotor Volgograd Tiligul Tiraspol Uralmash Yekaterinburg


Club Winners Runners-Up 3rd Position Years Won
FC Krylia Sovietov Kuibyshev 5 1945, 1956*, 1961*, 1975, 1978
FC Lokomotiv Moscow 3 2 3 1947, 1964, 1974
FC Chornomorets Odessa 3 1 3 1961*, 1973, 1987
FC Dinamo Minsk 2 2 2 1953, 1956*
FC Torpedo Kutaisi 2 2 1 1960*, 1961*
FC Kairat Alma-Ata 2 2 1 1976, 1983
FC Fakel Voronezh 2 1 3 1960*, 1984
FC Ararat Yerevan 2 1 2 1959*, 1965
FC CSKA Moscow 2 1 1 1986, 1989
FC Karpaty Lviv 2 1 1970, 1979
FC Lokomotyv Kharkiv 2 1 1948, 1952
FC Admiralteyets Leningrad 2 1957, 1959*
FC Zorya Luhansk 2 1962*, 1966
FC Spartak Ordzhonikidze 2 1969, 1990
FK Zalgiris 1 3 1 1982
SKA Rostov-on-Don 1 3 1958
FC Pakhtakor Tashkent 1 2 2 1972
FC Dnipro 1 2 1 1971
FC Zimbru Chisinau 1 2 1955*
FC Shakhtar Donetsk 1 1 1 1954
Serp i Molot Moscow 1 1 1936
FC Spartak Leningrad 1 1 1937
VVS Moscow 1 1 1946
SKA Sverdlovsk 1 1 1955*
FC Shakhter Karaganda 1 1 1962*
FC Lokomotivi Tbilisi 1 1 1961*
FC Kuban Krasnodar 1 1 1962*
FC Rotor Volgograd 1 1 1991
SC Tavriya Simferopol 1 2 1980
FC Metalist Kharkiv 1 2 1981
FC Daugava Riga 1 2 1985
FC Metalurh Zaporizhia 1 2 1960*
FC Uralmash Sverdlovsk 1 2 1968
FC Lokomotyv Vinnytsia 1 1 1959*
FC Pamir Dushanbe 1 1 1988
Dynamo Tiflis 1 1936
FC Krylia Sovietov Moscow 1 1939
FC Krasnaya Zarya Leningrad 1 1940
FC Spartaki Tbilisi 1 1949
FC VMS Moscow 1 1950
FC MVO Moscow 1 1951
FC Shinnik Yaroslavl 1 1963
Kapaz PFK 1 1967
FC Pamir Leninabad 1 1959*
FC Spartak Moscow 1 1977


  1. ^ Trudovye Reservy were replacing Dynamo Leningrad for several season. Later Dynamo was reinstated in their place.
  2. ^ After 1989 season teams from Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) and Georgia withdrew from the Soviet competitions. Only the two pro-Soviet, pro-Russian teams: Pardaugava (Riga) and Dinamo Sukhumi continued to participate.
  3. ^ Four teams were promoted due to withdrawal of several teams prior to this season. The fourth team was Lokomotiv Moscow.
  4. ^ Last season. Russian SFSR clubs form new Russian Top Division with compatriot clubs from Soviet Top League, and other SSR clubs do the same.

External links[edit]