The International Lenin Peace Prize (Russian: международная Ленинская премия мира) was the Soviet Union's equivalent to the Nobel Peace Prize, named in honor ofVladimir Lenin. It was awarded by a panel appointed by the Soviet government, to notable individuals whom the panel indicated had "strengthened peace among peoples". It was founded as the International Stalin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Peoples, but was renamed the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Peoples (Russian: Международная Ленинская премия «За укрепление мира между народами») as a result of destalinization. Unlike the Nobel Prize, the Lenin Peace Prize was usually awarded to several people a year rather than to just one individual. The prize was mainly awarded to prominent Communists and supporters of the Soviet Union who were not Soviet citizens.
The prize was created as the International Stalin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Peoples on December 21, 1949 by the ukaz of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet in honor of Joseph Stalin's seventieth birthday (although it was actually after his seventy-first). Following Nikita Khrushchev's denunciation of Stalin during the Twentieth Party Congress of 1956, the prize was renamed on September 6 the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Peoples. All previous recipients were asked to return their Stalin Prizes so they could be replaced by the renamed Lenin Prize. By a decision of Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of December 11, 1989, the prize was renamed the International Lenin Peace Prize. Two years later, after the USSR had collapsed, the Russian government ended the award program.
The International Lenin Prize should not be confused with the International Peace Prize, awarded by the World Peace Council. There was also a Stalin Prize (later renamed theUSSR State Prize) created during 1941 which was awarded annually to accomplished Soviet writers, composers, artists and scientists.