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The President of the Soviet Union was the Head of State of the USSRmarker from 15 March 1990 to 25 December 1991. Mikhail Gorbachev was the only person to occupy the office. Gorbachev was also General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (a position that he had held since March 1985) between March 1990 and August 1991. He derived an increasingly greater share of his power from his position as President until he finally resigned as General Secretary after the Soviet coup attempt of 1991.

The office had not existed until 1990; previously the head of Soviet state had been the Chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR (Chairman of the All-Union Executive Committee, ВЦИК) from 1922-1938, the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Sovietmarker from 1938-1989, then the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet in 1989-90.

From the mid-1920s on, all effective executive political power was in the hands of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, with the Chairman exercising largely symbolic and figurehead duties. Starting with Leonid Brezhnev in 1977, the last four General Secretaries simultaneously served as Chairmen of the Supreme Soviet during their time in office.

The Vice President of the Soviet Union was Gennady Yanayev, who briefly usurped Gorbachev as president in the 1991 attempted coup as leader of the State Committee of The State of Emergency.

Presidents of the Soviet Union

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