“Apraksin was a handsome young man and notorious Lothario who is believed to have had an affair with Princess N. Kurakina, an amateur composer and musician, who left her husband for him…”
Stepan Stephanovich Apraksin, Степан Степанович Апраксин was born on 24th June 1757 in Riga, the only son of Stepan Fedorovich Apraksin, a famous military commander in the Russian army. Stepan Stephanovich commenced his military career at birth, being assigned as an ensign in the Life Guard Semeyonovsk Regiment in 1757 and commenced active service in 1772 as Captain. He transferred to Kiev to serve in the local infantry regiment as an Officer and, whilst in this position, fought in the Russo-Turkish War (1768-1774). In 1777 it is thought that he was promoted to Colonel, being appointed a flügel adjutant, and serving in the Crimean Campaign. Apraksin was a handsome young man and a notorious Lothario who is believed to have had an affair with Princess N. Kurakina (1758-1825), an amateur composer and musician, who left her husband for him.
In 1783 Apraksin rose to the rank of Brigadier in the 20th Astrakhan Regiment of the tsarist army and was said to have fought with distinction in the Caucasus. Just three years later he was promoted to Major General and was involved in the major siege of Ochakov, ‘Özü Kuşatması’ in Turkish, during the Russo-Turkish War. This war saw Russian forces led by Prince Grigori Potemkin and General Alexander Suvorov besiege the city, held by Ottoman troops commanded by Hasan Pasha, and take 4000 Turks prisoner including Hasan Pasha himself.