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General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
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General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

The General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (sometimes called First Secretary) was the title synonymous with leader of the Soviet Union after Lenin's death in 1924. The position was originally an administrative one when it was created in 1922 with Stalin being the first to hold the title but the access to and authority over the party bureaucracy which accrued to the position allowed Stalin to increase his power during Lenin's illness and particularly after his death. Once Stalin came to dominate the Politburo the position of General Secretary became synonymous with that of party leader and de facto ruler of the USSR though the General Secretary often did not hold official government positions.

After 1925, the General Secretary led the Politburo and often the Central Committee. For a list of General Secretaries see List of leaders of the Soviet Union

See also: