Alexander Nikitin, a retired Russian naval captain, was acquitted last week of treason and espionage charges, which were brought against him after he disclosed information about nuclear safety hazards aboard Russian submarines. The court decision, which came nearly four years after Nikitin was arrested and after a second trial, was hailed as a big victory by Russian enviros, who have been under intense government pressure not to probe into the military’s handling of nuclear materials. Nikitin co-authored two chapters of a 1995 report by the Norwegian environmental group Bellona that pointed to nuclear pollution by the Russian navy. Nikitin’s ordeal became one of Russia’s most prominent human rights cases, in part because federal prosecutors retroactively charged Nikitin with violating laws that weren’t enacted until after he had already given Bellona his chapters of the report.