Braving sub-zero temperatures, she has thrown caution — and her clothes — to the wind to tame two beluga whales in a unique and controversial experiment.
Natalia Avseenko, 36, was persuaded to strip naked as marine experts believe belugas do not like to be touched by artificial materials such as diving suits.
The skilled Russian diver took the plunge as the water temperature hit minus 1.5 degrees Centigrade.
Belugas are famed for the way in which their faces are able to convey human-like expressions. Certainly Matrena and Nilma seemed to enjoy frolicking with Natalia.
The taming of the whales happened in the Murmansk Oblast region in the far north-west of Russia at the shore of the White Sea near the Arctic Circle branch of the Utrish Dophinarium.