Irina Kuznetsova

Irina Mihailovna Kuznetsova is Vice President of Metelitsa Sports Expedition and Scientific Research Centre, an organization that has organized ski expeditions to the North and South Poles, across several extremely difficult research routes beyond the Polar Circle in Russia and in other Polar regions. Irina’s expertise as a world recognized explorer, photo journalist and expedition organizer lends to her unique perspective as a key leader of the organization.

Major Accomplishments


Irina was expedition team member and coorganizer of 4 Arctic polar expeditions to Franz-Joseph Land and the polar continental Arctic

Irina was expedition team member and a member of leading organizers group (organizer) of the first Russian women’s expedition to Vostok station, the South magnetic Pole

1988 – 1989 Irena was member of expedition from Mirny Russian coastal station (1420 km in 64 days)

1991 Participated in organizing the women’s expedition across the Bering Bridge from Chukotka to Alaska

1995-1996 One of main organizers of the Antarctic Expedition from Chilean research station, Patriot Hills,  to the South Pole.


Irena was born on December 9, 1961 in Moscow, Russia. As the daughter of Metelista founder Kuznetsova Valentina Mihailovna, Irina was exposed to all METELITSA projects at an early age and since the late 1970s she participated in organizing the expeditions.

In early 1980s, Irina studied photography and began covering expeditions for major press agencies (TASS and APN ) and publications in Russia and abroad. Following her South Pole expedition, Irina produced a documentary of Metelitsa’s expeditions, which was broadcast on the first channel of public TV. Irina’s photography has been showcased in numerous exhibits in Moscow.

Irina participated in running the USA based, non-profit organization “Friends of Metelitsa” which organized and promoted the first International Women’s expedition to the South Pole. Metelitsa’s first International Expedition to the South Geographic Pole was prepared to depart from Moscow with American and Japanese participants in 1991. The planning ended abruptly as the disintegration of the Soviet Union had begun and the resources that had been committed to the project disappeared. Instead, the team crossed the Bering Bridge from Chukotka to Alaska in March of  1991.  Following that expedition Irina married her Aikido friend and co-founder of  “Friends of Metelitsa,” David Rotman, and moved to the USA.

Between 1993 and1998 Irina started and led as President of MIR Agency, providing photo journalism for the American press, based in San Francisco and Moscow. Irina moved her base back to Moscow in 1999 where she currently assists leading(works) the Metelitsa Sports Expedition and Scientific Research Center with her mother and founder, Valentina, and her co-officers. Irina currently teaches photography at “Izvestia”, Russia’s oldest newspaper’s journalism school and maintains  her offices  in Moscow and  her second base in San Francisco.

The Metelitsa Sports Expedition and Scientific Research Center and it’s companion organization, METELITSA (“Blizzard,”) the Russian women’s sports research team specializing in medical, biological and psychological research in polar ski expeditions, together have had more than 40-years of experience in creating and leading Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. Metelitsa’s biomedical research team provided  research and data used by the Russian scientific organizations including the Russian Medical Academy, The Institute of Medical and Biological Problems, and The Institute of Immunology and Vaccination in planning future explorations in forbidden environments like space and the moon. Both organizations are located in Moscow, Russia.

Irina holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Moscow State University

and currently lives in Moscow, Russia

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