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The State Council of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)
, but also known as the State Soviet
, formed on 5 September 1991 and was one of the most important government offices in Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...
's Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....
. The members of the council consisted of the President of the Soviet Union
The President of the Soviet Union , officially called President of the USSR was the Head of State of the USSR from 15 March 1990 to 25 December 1991. Mikhail Gorbachev was the only person to occupy the office. Gorbachev was also General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union between...
, and highest officials
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...
(which typically was president
A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...
s of their republics) from the Soviet Union Republics
The Republics of the Soviet Union or the Union Republics of the Soviet Union were ethnically-based administrative units that were subordinated directly to the Government of the Soviet Union...
. During the period of transition it was the highest organ of state power, having the power to elect a premier, or a person who would take Gorbachev's place if absent; the office of Vice President of the Soviet Union had been abolished following the failed August Coup that very same year.