Who was the only president of the Soviet Union?
The President of the Soviet Union, officially called President of the USSR (Russian: Президент СССР) or President of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was the head of state of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 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 March 1985 and August 1991. He derived an increasingly greater share of his power from his position as president until he finally resigned as General Secretary after the 1991 coup d'état attempt.
The presidency was an executive post, based on a mixture of the U.S. and French presidencies.
Prior to the creation of the post of president, the de jure head of state of the Soviet Union was the chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, who was often called the "president" by non-Soviet sources. For most of the Soviet Union's existence, all effective executive political power was in the hands of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, with the Chairman of the Presidium exercising largely symbolic and figurehead duties. Starting with Leonid Brezhnev in 1977, the last four General Secretaries—Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov, Konstantin Chernenko, and Gorbachev—simultaneously served as de jure head of state during their time in office.