You can call him chairman of the Presidium, president or Communist Party chief. And now, according to the official Soviet news agency, you can spell his name G-o-r-b-a-c-h-e-v, instead of G-o-r-b-a-c-h-y-o-v.
Tass advised editors receiving its English-language news wire on Friday that the phonetic spelling of -yov used in Russian surnames will now be replaced by the graphic spelling, or -ev.As examples, it gave Mikhail Gorbachev's name and that of Igor Rogachev, a deputy foreign minister whose surname used to be spelled Rogachyov.
Gorbachev was named general secretary of the Communist Party in March 1985 and on Oct. 1 took on the title of chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, the legislature. In governmental parlance, that made him the president.