Russia/USSR: Heads of Government: 1924 - Archontology
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Russia/USSR: Heads of Government: 1924

Vacancy in the Office of Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars

A vacancy in the positions of Chairman of the Councils of People's Commissars (both for USSR and Russian SFSR) was caused by the death of Vladimir Ul'janov (Lenin) on 21 Jan 1924. In practice, Lenin's activity as chairman of the Russian and federal government was discontinued since 1922, when he became incapacitated as a result of grave illness. The position of Chairman of the USSR Council of People's Commissars, to which Lenin was appointed on 6 Jul 1923, remained de facto vacant from the very beginning since Lenin was physically unable to assume the office. In 1922-1924, deputy chairmen (Aleksandr Tsyurupa, Aleksey Rykov, Lev Kamenev) carried out the functions of Chairman of the RSFSR Council of People's Commissars collectively. The first government of the Soviet Union appointed on 6 Jul 1923 included five deputy chairmen: Lev Kamenev, Aleksey Rykov, Aleksandr Tsyurupa, Vlas Chubar and Ivan (Mamiya) Orakhelashvili. The deputy chairmen were equal in their status, but the actual performance of chairman's duties devolved on Rykov and Kamenev, who were full members of Politburo of the Russian Communist Party, chief decision-making body. The vacancy ended with appointment of Rykov as a new Chairman of the Councils of People's Commissars of USSR and RSFSR on 2 Feb 1924.