List of leaders of the Soviet Union

An approximately chronological listing of Soviet leaders (heads of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and President of the Soviet Union)

NameTitlePeriod
Vladimir Ilych LeninHead of the Central CommitteeOctober 26, 1917 - April 3, 1922
Joseph StalinGeneral Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet UnionApril 3, 1922 - March 5, 1953
Nikita KhrushchevFirst SecretarySeptember 7, 1953 - October 14, 1964
Leonid BrezhnevFirst SecretaryOctober 14, 1964 - April 8, 1966
General SecretaryApril 8, 1966 - November 10, 1982
Yuri AndropovGeneral SecretaryNovember 12, 1982 - February 9, 1984
Konstantin ChernenkoGeneral SecretaryFebruary 13, 1984 - March 10, 1985
Mikhail GorbachevGeneral SecretaryMarch 11, 1985 - March 14, 1990
President of the Soviet UnionMarch 14, 1990 - December 25, 1991

The post of General Secretary was created in April 1922 and became the highest in the party when Lenin died. The title was First Secretary between 1953 and April 1966.

On March 14 1990, the newly created (1989) Congress of People's Deputies voted to end the Communist party's control over the government and elected Gorbachev President of the Soviet Union.

See also: Leon Trotsky, History of the Soviet Union, List of minor leaders of the Soviet Union

For the leaders of post-communist Russia, see: History of post-communist Russia.


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