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Soviet Union Table of Contents

Soviet Union


The intermediate-level party structure embraced the republic, oblast, raion (see Glossary), and city levels of the hierarchy. The organizational scheme of each of these levels resembled the others. In addition, at each of these levels the party organization corresponded to a similar layer in the government administration. According to the Party Rules, the authoritative body at each of these levels was the congress (republic level) or conference. These bodies elected a committee that, in turn, chose a bureau with several members (including a first secretary) and a secretariat. Conferences at one level elected delegates to the conference or congress at the next highest level. Thus, the rural or city conference designated delegates to the oblast conference or, in the case of the smaller republics, directly to the republic party congress. The oblast conference elected delegates to congresses of the larger republics. The Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic had no party congress. Delegates from provinces (oblasts, kraia, and autonomous subdivisions) in that republic were elected directly to the allunion party congress. Of course, at each level of the hierarchy the term election generally was a euphemism. By the norms of democratic centralism, party leaders at each level approved the makeup of the party conference or congress that ostensibly elected them, as well as the composition of party bodies on the next lowest level.

Data as of May 1989