During the full collapse of Russia’s empire in 1917, Vassili Vassilievitch / Василий Васильевич Кочубей (1883 -1960) married Anna Ignatievna (née Zakrevskaya)/ Анна Игнатьевна Закревская (Ионова, , Кочубей) (1887 -1941), little could the couple imagine what the future held, let alone that their marriage would be somehow connected to a January 13th, 2015 article on Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nicholas Clegg in the pages of a British tabloid newspaper called the Daily Mail that asked if a distant aunt was a Soviet spy (see: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2908987/Was-Nick-Clegg-s-aunt-Soviet-Spy-enigmatic-Russian-baroness-cut-swathe-London-s-best-connected-men-secret-MI5-files-pose-question.html).
Vassili, who was born in Moscow, was the son of the son of Vassili Arkadievitch / Василий Аркадьевич Кочубей (1826-1897) and his second wife Maria Alexeevna (née Kapnist) / Мария Алексеевна Кочубей (Капнист). He was born into a very large family with a very tragic destiny of loss. His father had been first married in 1852 to Natalia Petrovna (née Saltykova) / Наталья Петровна Салтыкова (1829 -1860). They had met shortly after the wedding of Vassili’s brother, Piotr Arkadievitch (1825-1897) and his wife, Varvara Alexandrovna (née countess Kushelev-Bezborodko). They had three children in their short marriage but Natalia died in 1860 shortly after giving birth to her youngest son, Demian Vassilievitch (1859-1890) who was born in 1859. It seemed that all her children would die without either reaching adulthood or marrying. From Vassili Arkadievitch’s first marriage, he had Arkadi Vassilievitch / Аркадий Васильевич Кочубей (1853-1860), and Piotr Vassilievitch (1857-1879) who was known as Piotr starshi / elder. After Natalia’s death, Vassili mourned her for many years but late in life he found another chance of happiness and he and his second wife Maria Alexeevna married and she gave him more children which included Piotr Vassilievitch / Петр Васильевич Кочубей (1880 -1918) the younger / mladshi who was born the year after his half-brother Piotr’s death, then Vassili Vassilievitch and their youngest brother Nikolai Vassilievitch / Николай Васильевич Кочубей (1885 -1947 ) was born in 1885.