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Supreme Soviet

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Badge of the Supreme Soviet

The Supreme Soviet (Russian: Верховный Совет, romanizedVerkhovny Sovet, lit.'Supreme Council') was the common name for the legislative bodies (parliaments) of the Soviet socialist republics (SSR) in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). These soviets were modeled after the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, established in 1938, and were nearly identical.[1]

Party-approved delegates to the Supreme Soviets were periodically elected unopposed in show elections.[2] The first free or semi-free elections took place during perestroika in late 1980s, in which Supreme Soviets themselves were no longer directly elected. Instead, Supreme Soviets were appointed by directly elected Congresses of People's Deputies based somewhat on the Congresses of Soviets that preceded the Supreme Soviets. The soviets until then were largely rubber-stamp institutions, approving decisions handed to them by the Communist Party of the USSR or of each SSR.[2]

The soviets met infrequently (often only twice a year for only several days) and elected the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, a permanent body, to act on their behalf while the soviet was not in session.[3] The presidiums were also empowered to issue decrees in lieu of law. If such decrees were not ratified by the Supreme Soviet at its next session, they were to be considered revoked. In practice, the principles of democratic centralism meant this power of veto was almost never exercised, meaning that Presidium decrees de facto had the force of law.[4]

Under the 1936 and 1977 Soviet Constitutions, the Presidium of a Supreme Soviet served as the collective head of state of its republic.[5] The Supreme Soviets also elected Councils of Ministers (Councils of People's Commissars before 1946), which were executive bodies.

After the dissolution of the USSR in late December 1991, most of these soviets remained the legislatures of independent countries until Armenia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan abandoned the system in 1995.

Supreme Soviets of the Soviet Republics[edit]

  Soviet Republics dissolved before the dissolution of the Soviet Union

Soviet Republic Supreme Soviet Established Disbanded Succeeded by
 Russian SFSR Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR

Верховный Совет РСФСР

1938 1993 Russia Constitutional Conference (1993)
Russia Federal Assembly (1993–present)
 Ukraine Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR

Верховный Совет Украинской ССР
Верховна Рада Української РСР

1937 1996 Ukraine Verkhovna Rada
 Byelorussia Supreme Soviet of the Byelorussian SSR

Верховный Совет Белорусской ССР
Вярхоўны Савет Беларускай ССР

1938 1994 Belarus Supreme Council (1994–96)
Belarus National Assembly (1996–present)
 Uzbekistan Supreme Soviet of the Uzbek SSR

Верховный Совет Узбекской ССР
Ўзбекистон ССР Олий Совети

1938 1992 Uzbekistan Supreme Council (1992–1995)
Uzbekistan Oliy Majlis (1995–present)
 Kazakhstan Supreme Soviet of the Kazakh SSR

Верховный Совет Казахской ССР
Қазақ ССР Жоғарғы Советі

1937 1993 Kazakhstan Supreme Council (1993–95)
Kazakhstan Parliament (1996–present)
 Georgia Supreme Soviet of the Georgian SSR

Верховный Совет Грузинской ССР
საქართველოს სსრ უმაღლესი საბჭო

1938 1992 Georgia (country) State Council (1992–1995)
Georgia (country) Parliament (1995–present)
 Azerbaijan Supreme Soviet of the Azerbaijan SSR

Верховный Совет Азербайджа́нской ССР
Азәрбаjҹан ССР Али Совети

1938 1995 Azerbaijan National Assembly
 Lithuania Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR

Верховный Совет Литовской ССР
Lietuvos TSR Aukščiausioji Taryba

1940 1990 Lithuania Supreme Council (1990–1992)
Lithuania Seimas (1992–present)
 Moldavia Supreme Soviet of the Moldavian SSR

Верховный Совет Молдавской ССР
Совиетул Супрем ал РСС Молдовеняскэ (Moldovan)
Sovietul Suprem al RSS Moldovenească (Romanian)

1941 1993 Moldova Parliament
 Latvia Supreme Soviet of the Latvian SSR

Верховный Совет Латвийской ССР
Latvijas PSR Augstākā Padome

1940 1990 Latvia Supreme Council (1990–1993)
Latvia Saeima (1993–present)
 Kirghizia Supreme Soviet of the Kirghiz SSR

Верховный Совет Киргизской ССР
Кыргыз ССР Жогорку Совети

1938 1994 Kyrgyzstan Supreme Council
 Tajikistan Supreme Soviet of the Tajik SSR

Верховный Совет Таджикской ССР
Совети Олӣ РСС Тоҷикистон

1937 1994 Tajikistan Supreme Assembly
 Armenia Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR

Верховный Совет Армянской ССР
Հայկական ՍՍՀ Գերագույն Խորհուրդ

1938 1995 Armenia National Assembly
 Turkmenia Supreme Soviet of the Turkmen SSR

Верховный Совет Туркменской ССР
Түркменистан ССР Ёкары Советы

1938 1992 Turkmenistan Assembly (1992–2021)
Turkmenistan National Council (2021–present)
 Estonia Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR

Верховный Совет Эстонской ССР
Eesti NSV Ülemnõukogu

1940 1992 Estonia Riigikogu
 Karelo-Finnish SSR Supreme Soviet of the Karelo-Finnish SSR

Верховный Совет Карело-Финской ССР

1940 1956 Republic of Karelia Supreme Soviet [ru]

Supreme Soviets of the Autonomous Soviet Republics[edit]

Autonomous Republic Supreme Soviet Established Disbanded Succeeded by
Bashkiria Supreme Soviet of the Bashkir ASSR (ru)

Верховный Совет Башкирской АССР
Башҡорт АССР-ы Юғары Советы

1938 1995 RussiaBashkortostan State Assembly
Buryatia Supreme Soviet of the Buryat ASSR (ru)

Верховный Совет Бурятской АССР
Буряадай АССР-эй Верховно Совет

1938 1994 RussiaBuryatia People's Khural
Karelia Supreme Soviet of the Karelian ASSR (ru)

Верховный Совет Карельской АССР

RussiaRepublic of Karelia Legislative Assembly
Tatarstan Supreme Soviet of the Tatar ASSR (ru)

Верховный Совет Татарской АССР
Татарстан АССР Югары Советы

1938 1995 RussiaTatarstan State Council
Tuva Supreme Soviet of the Tuvan ASSR (ru)

Верховный Совет Тувинской АССР
Тыва АССР-ниң Дээди Соведи

1961 1993 RussiaTuva Great Khural
Chuvashia Supreme Soviet of the Chuvash ASSR (ru)

Верховный Совет Чувашской АССР
Чӑваш АССР Верховнӑй Совечӗ

1938 1994 RussiaChuvashia State Council
Karakalpakstan Supreme Soviet of the Karakalpak ASSR

Верховный Совет Каракалпакской АССР
Қарақалпақстан АССР Жоқарғы Совети

1938 1994 UzbekistanKarakalpakstan Supreme Council
Abkhazia Supreme Soviet of the Abkhaz ASSR

Верховный Совет Абхазской АССР
Аҧснытәи АССР Иреиҳаӡоу Асовет

1938 1996 Abkhazia People's Assembly
Adjara Supreme Soviet of the Adjarian ASSR

Верховный Совет Аджарской АССР
აჭარის ასსრ უმაღლესი საბჭო

1938 1991 Georgia (country)Adjara Supreme Council
Nakhichevan Supreme Soviet of the Nakhichevan ASSR

Верховный Совет Нахичеванской АССР
Нахчыван МССР Али Совети

1938 1990 Azerbaijan Supreme Assembly (Nakhchivan)


  1. ^ Roeder, Philip G. (2007-08-05). Where Nation-States Come From: Institutional Change in the Age of Nationalism. Princeton University Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-691-13467-3.
  2. ^ a b Kelley, Larry D. (1990-12-31). Perestroika-era Politics: The New Soviet Legislature and Gorbachev's Political Reforms. M.E. Sharpe. p. 52. ISBN 978-0-87332-830-2.
  3. ^ Feldbrugge, Ferdinand Joseph Maria (1993-06-17). Russian Law: The End of the Soviet System and the Role of Law. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-7923-2358-7.
  4. ^ John Alexander Armstrong (1986). Ideology, Politics, and Government in the Soviet Union: An Introduction. University Press of America. ISBN 0819154059.
  5. ^ Armstrong, John Alexander (January 1, 1978). Ideology, Politics, and Government in the Soviet Union: An Introduction– Google Knihy. p. 165. ISBN 9780819154057. Retrieved 2016-11-26.

See also[edit]