CBS correspondent Bob Simon and three technical crew members captured by Iraqi troops Jan. 21 close to the Saudi-Kuwait border were freed in Baghdad Saturday and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was given special praise for his involvement. President Gorbachev, after receiving a personal letter from former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, ordered the Soviet ambassador in Baghdad ``to personally go to [Iraqi President] Saddam Hussein in his office and demand immediate release of these people,'' said Soviet envoy Sergei Grigoriev.

CBS president Laurence Tisch said in a statement: ``We are particularly indebted to President Gorbachev and the USSR for the deep personnel interest they took in this matter, and for their direct efforts on behalf of our journalists....''

Simon, CBS London bureau chief Peter Bluff, freelance cameraman Roberto Alvarez, and freelance soundman Juan Caldera disappeared while filming close to the border with Iraqi-occupied Kuwait.

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