Friends of dissident physicist Andrei Sakharov have reported receiving several telegrams and postcards from him and his wife that indicated that the couple are now living in their apartment in Gorki.
Pieces of information in these constrained communications appear to indicate that the exiled human rights activist had left a hospital in Gorki some time ago and had rejoined his wife, Yelena Bonner, in the apartment.
Sources said that Sakharov had sent one or two telegrams to his children from his first marriage while all other communications were signed by Bonner. A recent postcard, dated Oct. 10, implied that their life was troubled by using a Russian phrase connoting disturbances under a calm surface.
A telegram sent by Bonner to Sakharov's children, according to the sources, mentioned that "Papa" had received their letter, that he was feeling "as usual" but did not want to write for the time being.
Bonner's friends said her notes did not include any direct mention of Sakharov. However, she spoke of "us" rather than "me."
There has been no independent information about the state of Sakharov's health since he was reported to have started a hunger strike on May 2 to press demands that his wife be allowed to go to the West for medical treatment.
Minimal information that has been trickling from Gorki, an industrial city about 250 miles east of here to which Sakharov was banished in 1980, indicated that the authorities may have eased slightly the previously complete ban on all communication with the couple.
Sakharov was hospitalized, apparently forcibly, shortly after he began his hunger strike. The apparent slight easing of the strict constraints on what the couple can send out from Gorki to their friends and relatives in Moscow suggested that the physicist had ended his fast and that he and Bonner had resumed their life in exile as before.
Last June, Soviet officials asserted that the couple were "in good health" and that Sakharov was "eating meals regularly and leading an active way of life." Videotapes sent to the West in August, presumably with official endorsement, showed Sakharov apparently in good health.
The latest minimal information received in Moscow appears to confirm the official assurances here that Sakharov now was neither fasting nor hospitalized.