State Prize of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

State Prize of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics


an award by which citizens are encouraged to make outstanding creative contributions in scientific, technical, literary, and artistic fields. The State Prize of the USSR was established by decrees of the Central Committee (CC) of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR of Sept. 9, 1966 (Collection of Statutes of the USSR, or SP SSSR, 1966, no. 21, art. 188), Mar. 26, 1969 (SP SSSR, 1969, no. 8, art. 48), and Aug. 11, 1969 (SP SSSR, 1969, no. 19, art. 110). A statute on the State Prize was approved by decree of the CC CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR on Sept. 17, 1967 (SP SSSR, 1967, no. 6, art. 29).

The State Prize of the USSR is awarded for the following: scholarly research that makes a major contribution to the development of social science; work that creates or introduces into the national economy the most advanced materials, machinery, or devices; new technological processes with a high level of productivity; the discovery of new, more advanced productive or technological processes of major economic significance; original and economical architectural and technical constructions; profound theoretical research on questions of state and economic construction and in Marxist-Leninist theory; and highly talented and ideologically advanced works of literature and art. If a previous prizewinner succeeds in a major new accomplishment, the prize may be awarded a second time but only after a five-year interval.

The range of scientific, educational, governmental, and social organizations with the right to propose works as candidates for the State Prize was specified by the Statute on the State Prize of the USSR. The prize is awarded annually on the anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, with 50 prizes awarded in scientific fields and ten in the fields of literature, art, and architecture. In 1970 an additional prize was established for literary and artistic works for children and four prizes were established for outstanding textbooks in higher educational institutions, secondary schools, and specialized secondary educational institutions. The amount of each prize is 5,000 rubles.

Awards are decided by the Committees on the Lenin and State Prizes of the USSR attached to the Council of Ministers of the USSR. The awards must be approved by the CC CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR. Announcements of the awards are published in central, republic, and local newspapers. Persons receiving the prizes are given the title “laureate of the State Prize of the USSR.” A diploma is conferred upon them and a badge indicating the year of the award. The diplomas and badges of those who had won the Stalin Prize of the first, second, and third classes (awarded in the years 1940–52) have been exchanged for diplomas and badges of the respective classes of the State Prize of the USSR. The specifications for the badges and diplomas and the statute on such badges were approved by the Decree of the Council of Ministers of the USSR of Oct. 11, 1967 (SP SSSR, 1967, no. 24, art. 172).

Republic-level state prizes have been established in the Union republics, including the RSFSR, Byelorussian SSR, Ukrainian SSR, Azerbaijan SSR, Kazakh SSR, Kirgiz SSR, and Turkmen SSR.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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