HomeNationsSoviet UnionHeads of GovernmentRYZHKOV, Nikolaj Ivanovič
RYZHKOV, Nikolaj Ivanovič

Nikolaj Ivanovič Ryzhkov

b. 28 Sep 1929, Dyleyevka, Dzerzhinsk region, Donetsk province, USSR

Title: Председатель Совета Министров СССР (Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR)
Term: 27 Sep 1985 - 14 Jan 1991
Chronology: 27 Sep 1985, appointed, decree of Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet [1]
26 Dec 1990, constitutional amendments terminated the functions of the USSR Council of Ministers (Chairman of the Council of Ministers carried out current business until appointment of the Prime Minister on 14 Jan 1991) [2]

Nikolaj Ryzhkov became the second Soviet premier after Nikolaj Tikhonov, whose biography contained an extensive record of managerial posts and ministerial offices rather than positions in the party leadership. In 1950 he began to work for the Sverdlovsk Uralmash Plant and joined the Communist party (1956) in the age of 27. After graduation from the Kirov Urals Polytechnic Institute (1959), Ryzhkov was promoted to senior welder at the same plant. Then he became chief engineer in 1965 and finally, in 1970, director-general of the Uralmash Production Amalgamation.

In 1975 Ryzhkov was made first deputy minister of heavy and transport machine building of the USSR. In 1979 he was appointed first deputy chairman of the State Planning Committee. The 26th party congress elected Nikolaj Ryzhkov to serve on the Central Committee (1981-1991). When a long-time associate of Leonid Brežnev, Andrej Kirilenko fell out of grace in the beginning of the 15-month rule of Yury Andropov, Ryzhkov occupied his place in the Secretariat (22 Nov 1982 - 15 Oct 1985) and was made head of the Economic Department of the Central Committee. Rotation in the top party leadership in 1985 related to the election of Mihail Gorbačëv General Secretary, led to inclusion of Ryzhkov in the Politburo as a full member (23 Apr 1985 - 13 Jul 1990). On 27 Sep 1985, Ryzhkov replaced Nikolaj Tikhonov as chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers.

Ryzhkov closely worked with Mihail Gorbačëv and supported his policies targeted at the revival of Soviet economy through introducing advanced technology and decentralized planning. However, he refused to accept the market-type pricing and other mechanisms and by 1990 his premiership had come under intense criticism from all sides. On 26 Dec 1990, the USSR Supreme Soviet promulgated the law abolishing the Council of Ministers and replacing it with the Cabinet of Ministers. During the parliamentary session discussing the draft law, Ryzhkov suffered a heart attack (December 1990) and was hospitalized [3]. The USSR Supreme Soviet approved Valentin Pavlov as prime minister on 14 Jan 1991, ending the term of the last Council of Ministers. Ryzhkov retired, but in December 1993 he was elected as deputy to the Russian State Duma. In 1996 he became chairman of the Executive Committee of the People's Patriotic Union of Russia.Biography source: [4]

[1] Ведомости Верховного Совета СССР, 1985, № 40, Ст. 752.
[2] ВСНД и ВС СССР, 1991, № 1, Ст. 3.
[3] Acting during incapacity: Lev Alekseyevich Voronin, First Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers (17 Jul 1989 - 14 Jan 1991).
[4] Государственная власть СССР. Высшие органы власти и управления и их руководители. 1923-1991 гг. Историко-биографический справочник / Сост. В.И.Ивкин. М.: РОССПЭН, 1999,