The Soviet Union has restored the citizenship of three emigre dissidents punished by the Kremlin for anti-Soviet slander in the 1970s, the official Tass news agency reported Saturday.
In a separate, less forgiving move, a former KGB counterintelligence chief has been stripped of his military rank and decorations after telling foreign and Soviet media that the spy agency should be abolished, Tass said.
Tass identified the three dissidents as Zhores A. Medvedev, a biologist and author; Vladimir E. Maximov, a novelist and human rights activist, and Alexander A. Zinoviev, a satirical novelist and professor of logic.
Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev made the decision after a citizenship commission said their punishments represented "injustices" that needed to be corrected, Tass said.
Under Gorbachev's reforms, many prominent dissidents stripped of their citizenship under previous leaders have been allowed to return to the Soviet Union for visits or have had their citizenship restored.
Medvedev, the 64-year-old twin brother of dissident historian and Soviet lawmaker Roy A. Medvedev, was stripped of his citizenship in 1973 while traveling in Britain, where he now lives.
Zinoviev, 60, emigrated with his wife and daughter to West Germany in August, 1978.
He earlier was dismissed from Moscow State University and the Society of Philosophers and stripped of his academic titles and degrees after his satirical novel, "The Yawning Heights," was published in the West in 1976.
Maximov, 59, is editor-in-chief of the Paris-based journal Kontinent. He had worked for the Soviet magazine October and also was active in dissident causes before he emigrated. His books "Seven Days of Creation" and "Quarantine" were circulated in the Soviet Union in the 1960s as samizdat , or "self-published" works, and later were released abroad.
The commission that restored the citizenship for the three said it was acting on "humanitarian considerations and showing goodwill," according to Tass.
In the case of the former KGB officer, however, "by decision of the president of the U.S.S.R., at the request of the KGB, Oleg Kalugin was deprived of all state decorations for actions compromising the honor and dignity of the state security organs," the state news agency said.
Kalugin, who was a major general and top spy in the United States during the 1960s, said in interviews two weeks ago that he was hounded out of the KGB because of his reformist political views.
"By decision of the Council of Ministers of the U.S.S.R., he was deprived of his military rank of major general . . . ," Tass said.
Kalugin, 55, spoke to foreign and Soviet journalists and appeared on Soviet television saying the KGB had too much power and should be disbanded.
He said the KGB is still tapping phones, infiltrating the Russian Orthodox Church and labor unions and carrying out other actions.
Kalugin, a member of the Democratic Platform reform movement, said he was drummed out of the intelligence agency this year after having been demoted to reserve status because of his reformist leanings.
The KGB said in a news release that Kalugin was trying to launch a political career and was using the domestic and foreign media to become a public figure.