The Soviet government decreed a limited amnesty for prisoners Monday to mark the 60th anniversary of the Soviet state. The amnesty did not appear to affect hundreds of imprisoned dissidents.
The amnesty issued by the Supreme Soviet, or parliament, generally affected people whose offenses resulted in prison terms of five years or less, or those with longer sentences who fell into special categories such as pension-age persons or war veterans. The Supreme Soviet said amnesty could not be extended to ''especially dangerous recidivists.'' The amnesty was the first of its kind since 1977.