Совет народных коммисаров
The Soviet government in Bulgakov's era was the Совет народных коммисаров (Soviet narodnych kommisarov) or the Council of the People's Commissars, abbreviated as Совнарком or Sovnarkom. This term was created by Trotsky as an anti-bourgeois name for the bolshevik government.
The prime minister was the President of the Council of the People's Commissars.
Until 1946 the function of a minister in the government of the Soviet union was executed by a Народный комиссар (Narodny komissar) or People's Commissar, abbreviated to Narkom. A ministry was called a Народный комиссариат (Narodny komissariat) or People's Commissariat, in short narkomat. All separate Soviet republics (both the autonomous and the federal republics) had a Council of the People's Commissars too.
In 1946 the Council of the People's Commissars or Sovnarkom was renamed Совет Министров (Soviet Ministrov) or the Council of Ministers, abbreviated to Совмин or Sovmin. The People's Commissars and the People's Commissariats were renamed to Ministers and governmental departments.
Two People's Commissariats played an important role in The Master and Margarita, as well as in Bulgakov's own life. The NKVD being in charge of the secret police, and the Narkompros, which, among other things, organized censorship.
In the time that Bulgakov worked on The Master and Margarita, the Народный комиссариат внутренних дел (НКВД) or People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) was responsible for the secret police, which was called Главное управление государственной безопасности (ГУГБ) or Main Directorate for State Security (GUGB) from July, 1934 to August, 1943 .
The Народный комиссариат просвещения (Наркомпрос) or the People's Commissariat for Enlightenment(Narkompros) was the the Soviet administration in charge of national education and other area's related to culture and sciences. This People's Commissariat had innumerable sections which had to keep watch over the political correctness of the various artisctic expressions, and pratctised far-reaching censorship.