MOSCOW, JULY 19 -- He never writes, he never calls. Some mothers' laments are the same the world over.

Maria Pantelyevna Gorbachev, mother of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, complains that she never sees her son and that she only just got a color television to replace her old black-and-white one, according to an unusually revealing profile of the Soviet leader's mother published here today in the newspaper Komsomoskaya Pravda.

The one privilege given to the 79-year-old woman is the KGB agents who provide security to her small house in the tiny southern Russian village of Privolnoye. The newspaper said that the agents are there not so much to guard her from the many journalists who find their way to the farming village where Gorbachev was born, but to keep ordinary citizens from pestering her with petitions for her son.

In the article "Home of the President," the paper gave a rare close-up look at the Soviet leader's family. Published on the front page, it was illustrated with a photograph of the Soviet leader as a young man, looking chubby, lying in a field of grass and wearing a natty beret.

Traditionally, Soviet leaders' personal lives are shielded from public scrutiny and the Soviet press shies away from personality profiles. For example, Soviets did not know that Gorbachev's predecessor, Konstantin Chernenko, had a wife until they saw her weeping over him at his funeral.

Under Gorbachev's policy of glasnost, many restrictions have been lifted. But although the Western media have reported on Gorbachev's roots and his family, today's article provided intimate details of Gorbachev and his mother that are still new to Soviet readers.

For example, the paper reported that when rumors spread that Maria Gorbachev would be moving to the Soviet capital, she griped to a neighbor, "I have already lived in Moscow. I don't see my son here and I wouldn't see him there. He leaves home at 6 a.m. and returns late in the evening. I will not go anywhere."

Last weekend, Gorbachev took West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl on a tour of the city of Stavropol, which is near Privolnoye. The Soviet leader showed Kohl the office he worked in as first secretary of the region before moving to Moscow. But he did not take Kohl to Privolnoye. Gorbachev last visited Privolnoye three years ago, spending little more than an hour a half there altogether, the paper said.

No plaques or markers point out the tiny village of 3,000 as Gorbachev's hometown; there is no billboard at the corner saying turn right for a look at the cottage where perestroika first sprang forth. This low-profile treatment of the Gorbachevs is in keeping with the frugal image he has tried to project in his five years in office.

Maria Gorbachev leads a life like any other in the farming village, doing her own chores and baking her own bread, even though a collective farm bakery was built several years ago to feed the village, the official newspaper reported. And her cottage is as modest as the others, given away only by the new paint job and the gaggle of agents. Neither the refurbishing nor the TV were paid for out of public coffers, the article added.

Alla Georgievna Zavalikhina, ideology secretary of the party committee who lives in a nearby village, often accompanies both Soviet and foreign journalists who visit Privolnoye. She told the newspaper that foreign journalists who come in search of Gorbachev's mother tend to be tactful: "At least no one who was warned beforehand tried to get into {Gorbachev's} house," she said.

But she complained to the newspaper about the manners of her own country's reporters. "It's more difficult to explain to ours," she said. "One Soviet TV crew wanted to interview her for a popular show by any means," she added. "Isn't it clear that it's not decent to bother an elderly woman, even if this woman is not the president's mother?"