MOSCOW, JUNE 30 -- The Soviet Union has restored the citizenship of three emigre dissidents punished by the Kremlin in the 1970s for anti-Soviet slander, the official Tass news agency reported today.
Tass identified the three as Zhores Medvedev, a biologist and author; Vladimir Maximov, a novelist and human rights activist; and Alexander Zinoviev, a satirical novelist and professor of logic.
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev made the decision to restore citizenship after a citizenship commission said punishment of the three men represented "injustices" that needed to be corrected, Tass said.
Under Gorbachev's reforms, many prominent dissidents who were stripped of their citizenship under previous leaders have been allowed to return to the Soviet Union for visits or have had their citizenship restored.
Some formerly disgraced artists have had their works published or exhibited in the Soviet Union.
Medvedev, the 64-year-old twin brother of dissident historian and Soviet legislator Roy Medvedev, said he welcomed the restoration of his citizenship but regretted that so few others had regained theirs.
Medvedev, who plans to continue living in London, said he believes that the citizenship committee requested citizenship restoration for nearly 100 people, including Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
Solzhenitsyn, who won a Nobel Prize for literature in 1970, was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974 and stripped of his citizenship. He lives in Vermont.
"It would be just and right to reconsider all these acts together, rather than to have individual decrees like this," Medvedev said.
Medvedev, who was stripped of his citizenship in 1973 while traveling in Britain, had angered authorities by criticizing Soviet science that was practiced under dictator Joseph Stalin. He also published a study on Soviet censorship of mail, and in 1970 was briefly incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital.
His book, "Nuclear Disaster in the Urals," which presented evidence about the 1957 explosion at an atomic waste facility in the southern Urals, was published abroad in the 1970s.
Zinoviev, 60, emigrated with his wife and daughter to West Germany in August 1978. They now live in Munich.
He 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.
In September 1978, former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev stripped him of his citizenship for behavior "damaging to Soviet prestige."
Zinoviev published other satirical works while in exile, with many of them giving colorful descriptions of the absurdities of Communist society.
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.
He was expelled from the official Writers' Union in 1973 and emigrated to Paris in 1974 with his wife after accusing Soviet authorities of creating a system of "political hostages."
A January 1975 Supreme Soviet decree said Maximov was stripped of his citizenship because he "systematically commits actions that inflict damage to the prestige of the U.S.S.R. and are incompatible with being a member of Soviet society."
Other books by Maximov include "Farewell From Nowhere" (1976), "Ark for the Uninvited" (1979), and "The Saga of the Rhinoceros" (1976).