A Russian word literally meaning ‘apparatus’, used to denote the machinery of state administration. Its primary use in English is pejorative, denoting a faceless, privileged, and all‐powerful communist bureaucracy; its members are referred to as apparatchiki. In the narrowest sense in official Soviet discourse, the word did not have a negative connotation. Rather, it may best be understood as designating that part of the state—the permanent commissions of the Council of Ministers and the state committees such as State Committee for Planning (Gosplan) or the State Committee for Material and Technical Supply (Gossnab)—primarily concerned with issuing regulations and instructions to other bodies—the industrial ministries—which were operationally responsible for carrying them out. Members of the latter bodies were frequently called khozyaystvenniki (economic executives).