The Congress of Soviets was the supreme governing body of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and several other Soviet republics from 1917–36 and again from 1989-91. After the creation of the Soviet Union, the Congress of Soviets of the Soviet Union functioned as its legislative branch until its dissolution in 1936. Its initial full name was the "Congress of Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies. It was also sometimes known as the "Congress of People's Deputies."
The Congress of Soviets was an assembly of representatives of local councils. In theory, it was the supreme power of the Soviet State, an organ of the dictatorship of the proletariat. No bourgeois, no noble, no aristocrat, no priest could vote – only working people. Officially, the Congress of Soviets created laws and elected the Council of People's Commissars, which was the government. In the interim its functions were performed by designated executive bodies, see VTsIK. In practice the Congress became increasingly deferential to the Bolsheviks after the Russian Revolution.
By the time of Lenin's death in 1924 the Congress of Soviets effectively only rubber-stamped the decisions of the Communist Party and served as a propaganda tribune. The 1936 Constitution eliminated the Congress of Soviets, making the Supreme Soviet of the USSR the legislative institution. During this time the Central Committee of the AUCP(b) held de facto control over the government.
The Bolsheviks convened an All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets of Workers', Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies in Kiev, on December 17, 1917, and in Kharkiv on December 25, 1917 (see Ukraine after the Russian Revolution).