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Secretariat of the CPSU Central Committee
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Secretariat of the CPSU Central Committee

The Secretariat of the CPSU Central Committee was a key body within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and was responsible for the central administration of the party as opposed to drafting government policy which was usually handled by the Politburo. Its members were elected by the Communist Party's Central Committee though, much like the elections for the Politburo, the outcome was a bygone conclusion. The General Secretary of the CPSU was the leader of the Secretariat as were two or three other senior members of the Politburo.

The Secretariat was established by the Central Committee on August 6, 1917 and was initially composed of Felix Dzerzhinsky, Muranov and Yakov Sverdlov as full members and Ioffe and Yelana Stasova as candidate members (or alternates). Following the October Revolution, Sverdlov and Stasova became the de facto Secretariat as other members of the body assumed more important duties. The purpose of the body at this time were technical such as the co-ordination of the activites of regional party organizations as well as handle party administrative work.

By 1922, the body had transformed from a technical committee to one of the most important components of the party and from that point on it was responsible for the day to day operations of the CPSU. Also in 1922, the position of General Secretary was created, the General Secretary became the head of the Secretariat and, in the years following Lenin's death, became the most important figure in the party and the country.

See also Organization of the Communist Party of the USSR

Members of the Secretariat 1917-1991

DateComments
August 6, 1917 Felix Dzerzhinsky, Muranov and Yakov Sverdlov (full members) Ioffe and Yelana Stasova (candidate members)
March 16, 1919 Sverdlov dies
March 25, 1919 Stasova elected Chief Secretary by the Central Committee
Nov 1919 Krestinsky and Stasova
Apr 5, 1920 Krestinsky, Preobrazhensky, Serebryakov
Mar 16, 1921 V. Mikhaylov, Molotov, Yaroslavsky
Apr 3, 1922 Kuibyshev and Molotov with Stalin as General Secretary
Apr 26, 1923 Molotov, Rudzutak, Stalin
Feb 1924 Rudzutak removed by Politburo replaced by Andreyev
Jun 2, 1924 Andreyev, Zelensky, Kaganovich, Molotov, Stalin
Aug 1924 Zelensky replaced by Uglanov
Apr 30, 1925 Kaganovich replaced by Bubnov
Jan 1, 1926 Yevdokimov, Kosior, Molotov, Stalin, Uglanov with Artukhina and Bubnov as candidate members
Apr 9, 1926 Yevdokimov replaced by Shvernik
Apr 16, 1927 Shvernik replaced by Kubyak
Dec 19, 1927 Kosior, Kubyak, Molotov, Stalin, Uglanov with Artukhina, Bubnov and Moskvin as candidate members
Apr 11, 1928 Kubyak replaced by Smirnov; Bauman elected candidate member
July 12, 1928 Kosior replaced by Kaganovich
Apr 30, 1929 Uglanov replaced by Bauman
Jul 13, 1930 Bauman, Kaganovich, Molotov, Postyshev, Stalin elected secretaries with Moskvin and Shvernik as candidate members.
Dec 21, 1930 Molotov removed
Oct 2. 1932 Bauman and Moskvin removed
Feb 10, 1934 Zhdanov, Kaganovich, Kirov, Stalin
Dec 1, 1934 Kirov assassinated
Feb 1935 Yezhov and Andreyev join
Mar 22, 1939 Andreyev, Zhdanov, Malenkov, Stalin
May 4, 1941 Shcherbakov joins
May 10, 1945 Shcherbakov dies
Mar 18 1946 Zhdanov, Kuznetsov, Malenkov, Popov, Stalin
May 6, 1946 Malenkov replaced by Patolichev
May 24, 1947 Patolichev replaced by Suslov
July 1, 1948 Malenkov and Ponomarenko join
Aug 31, 1948 Zhdanov dies
Jan 28, 1949 Kuznetsov removed
Dec 16 1949 Popov replaced by Khrushchev
Oct 16, 1952 Aristov, Brezhnev, Ignatov, Malenkov, N. Mikhaylov, Pegov, Ponomarenko, Stalin, Suslov, Khrushchev
Mar 5, 1953 Stalin dies
Mar 5, 1953 Brezhnev, Ignatov, Pegov and Ponomarenko replaced by Ignatyev, Pospelov and Shatalin. Malenkov becomes First Secretary
Mar 14, 1953 Malenkov removed
Mar 14, 1953 Ignatyev, Pospelov, Suslov, Khrushchev, Shatalin
Apr 5, 1953 Ignatyev removed
Sep 7 1953 Khrushchev elected First Secretary by the Central Committee
Mar 8, 1955 Shatalin removed
July 12, 1955 Aristov, Belyaev, Shepilov join
Feb 27, 1956 Aristov, Belyaev, Brezhnev, Pospelov, Suslov, Furtseva, Khrushchev, Shepilov
Dec 24, 1956 Shepilov removed
Feb 14 1957 Shepilov rejoins
Jun 18 1957 Presidium of the Central Committee votes to dismiss Khrushchev as First secretary (7 in favor, 4 against), but this decision was revoked on the same day and the issue was postponed until the June 1957 plenum which reaffirms Khrushchev
June 29, 1957 Shepilov replaced by Kuusinen elected secretary
Dec 17, 1957 Ignatov, Kirichenko, Mukhitdinov join
Nov 12, 1958 Belyaev removed
May 4, 1960 Aristov, Ignatov, Kirichenko, Pospelov and Furtseva removed; Kozlov joins
July 16, 1960 Brezhnev removed
Oct 31, 1961 Demichev, Ilyichev, Kozlov, Kuusinen, Ponomarev, Spiridonov, Suslov, Khrushchev, Shelepin
Apr 23, 1962 Spiridonov removed
Nov 23, 1962 Andropov, Polyakov, Rudakov and Titov added
June 21, 1963 Brezhnev and Podgorny added
May 17, 1964 Kuusinen dies
Oct 14, 1964 Khrushchev removed, Brezhnev elected First secretary at the Central Committee plenum
Nov 16, 1964 Kozlov and Polyakov removed
Mar 26, 1965 Ilyichev replaced by Ustinov
Sep 29, 1965 Titov replaced by Kulakov
Dec 6, 1965 Podgorny replaced by Kapitonov
Apr 8, 1966 Andropov, Brezhnev, Demichev, Kapitonov, Kirilenko, Kulakov, Ponomarev, Rudakov, Suslov, Ustinov, Shelepin; Brezhnev's title changes to General Secretary
July 10, 1966 Rudakov dies
Dec 13. 1966 Solomentsev joins
June 21, 1967 Andropov removed
Sep 26, 1967 Shelepin removed
Apr 10, 1968 Katushev joins
Apr 9, 1971 Brezhnev, Demichev, Kapitonov, Katushev, Kirilenko, Kulakov, Ponomarev, Solomentsev, Suslov, Ustinov
Nov 23, 1971 Solomentsev removed
Dec 18, 1972 Dolgikh joins
Dec 16, 1974 Demichev relieved of duties at the Central Committee plenum
Mar 5, 1976 Brezhnev, Dolgikh, Zimyanin, Kapitonov, Katushev, Kirilenko, Kulakov, Ponomarev, Suslov, Ustinov, Chernenko elected secretaries at the Central Committee plenum;
Oct 1976 Ustinov replaced by Ryabov
May 24, 1977 Katushev replaced by Rusakov
July 17, 1978 Kulakov dies
Nov 27, 1978 Gorbachev joins
Apr 17, 1979 Ryabov removed
Mar 3, 1981 Brezhnev, Gorbachev, Dolgikh, Zimyanin, Kapitonov, Kirilenko, Ponomarev, Rusakov, Suslov, Chernenko
Jan 25, 1982 Suslov dies
May 24, 1982 Andropov joins
Nov 10, 1982 Brezhnev dies
Nov 12 1982 Andropov elected General secretary at the Central Committee extraordinary plenum
Nov 22. 1982 Kirilenko replaced by Ryzhkov.
June 15, 1983 Romanov joins
Dec 26, 1983 Ligachev joins
Feb 9, 1984 Andropov dies
Feb 13 1984 Chernenko elected General secretary at the Central Committee extraordinary plenum
Mar 10, 1985 Chernenko dies
Mar 11, 1985 Gorbachev elected General secretary at the Central Committee extraordinary plenum
Apr 23, 1985 Nikonov joins
July 1, 1985 Romanov replaced by Yeltsin and Zaikov
Oct 15, 1985 Ryzhkov removed
Feb 18 1986 Yeltsin and Rusakov removed
Mar 6, 1986 Biryukova, Gorbachev, Dobrynin, Dolgikh, Zaikov, Zimyanin, Ligachev, Medvedev, Nikonov, Razumovsky, Yakovlev
Jan 28, 1987 Zimyanin replaced by Lukyanov and Slyunkov
Feb 18, 1988 Baklanov joins
Sep 30, 1988 Biryukova, Dobrynin, Dolgikh and Lukyanov removed; Chebrikov joins
Sep 20, 1989 Nikonov and Chebrikov removed; Girenko, Manayenkov, Stroyev and Usmanov join
Dec 9, 1989 Frolov joins
Jul 10 1990 Gorbachev re-elected General Secretary, Ivashko Deputy general secretary at the 28th party Congress by secret ballot
Jul 14, 1990 Baklanov, Gidaspov, Girenko, Dzasokhov, Kuptsov, Manayenkov, Semyonova, Stroyev, Falin, Shenin, Yanayev, Aniskin, Gayvoronsky, Melnikov, Teplenichev and Turgunova join
Jan 31, 1991 Yanayev replaced by Luchinsky
Apr 25, 1991 Gorbachev tendered his resignation to the joint plenum of the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission, but it was declined; Baklanov removed
Jul 26, 1991 Kalashnikov Melnikov and Maltsev join
Aug 24, 1991 After failure of August coup Gorbachev resigns as General Secretary, CPSU banned by Yeltsin.