An approximately chronological list of leaders of the Soviet Union (heads of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and President of the Soviet Union). The formal structure of power in the Soviet Union consisted of three main branches that gave rise to three top positions. The first position of importance was that of the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, informally translated as President of the Soviet Union. Theoretically it was the highest position, since the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union was an interim organ of the Congress of Soviets, the latter being the supreme power of people, according to the Constitution of the Soviet Union. The head of the government was the Premier of the Soviet Union. This was the most important position in Lenin's time. In practice, the leader or G eneral Secretary of the Communist Party used to occupy another position, which led to confusion in the West as to who the number one person in the USSR was: Lenin, Stalin and Malenkov preferred the post of the premier, while Khrushchev, Brezhnev and his successors preferred that of the president (called Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and changed to President of the Soviet Union in 1990).