Vassili (Basil) Nicholaevitch Strandtman (1877-1963) was born to parents, Major General Nikolai Karlovitch and Praskovia Vassilevna, and received a military education as a youth in the Corps des Pages. In 1901, following service in Her Majesty's Lancers, Strandtman entered the diplomatic corps, in which he would serve for the remainder of his professional career.
In 1914, Strandtman became Charge d'Affairs of the Russian Delegation in Belgrade, Serbia, and served in a diplomatic capacity during World War I. Following the war, Strandtman was appointed Minister to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (SCS). In 1924, Strandtman's title was changed to Delegate in Charge of Russian Interests in the Kingdom of the SCS and he was head of the old Russian Red Cross Organization as Special Authorized Agent. By 1940, Strandtman retained only his post with the old Russian Red Cross and worked to secure aid for persons displaced and interned during World War II. Following the war, the Strandtman family moved to Geneva and again, in 1947, to the U.S. where they resided with Alice Dodge, daughter of a former U.S. Minister of the Kingdom of the SCS, Henry Percival Dodge.