Nikolai was born on 29 July 1889 in Lipetsk of the once-Russian Empire. His father, Stavrion Elevterievich Sakov (1846-1921), born to a Greek family in the town of Unya of the Ottoman Empire, arrived in Russia probably during the Crimean War of 1853-1856, where he finished school and received Russian citizenship. In addition to his studies in Oriental languages, his father also graduated from medical school and took part in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 as a military doctor. After the war, he continued to practice medicine and occasionally taught at the Oriental Languages Institute where he had originally attended. At the same time, he served as Honorary Consul of Greece in Moscow (until 1914). In 1888, in Moscow, he married Anna Nikolaevna Fedtsova from Lipetsk and they had Nikolai and later Alexander (also the future owner of an aviator's diploma). In 1908 the family moved permanently to Lipetsk. Nikolai, in 1911, went to France (Betheni) to learn to fly at the school of Armand Deperdussin, a SPAD designer, and on September 25 of the same year, he obtained his diploma, which listed him as Nicolas de Sacoff. After obtaining his diploma, he returned to Russia with a SPAD monoplane (probably Type A or Deperdussin Racer), which he also demonstrated in flights at Khodynka Park in Moscow. In the Kozlovskaya Gazeta newspaper dated 6 May 1912, it is reported that...
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