The article presents the academic activities and methodological approaches of Russian historians Mikhail Pokrovsky (1868–1932) and David Riazanov (1870–1938) who worked in a difficult political climate. They both had their own criteria of objectivity in history and held their own political views. They shared the reality of Bolshevism, although their concepts of interpreting his- tory clashed with Bolshevist ways of thinking. Bolshevism practices and beliefs required drastic adjustments in academic studies, in particular in the social sciences. The article focuses on the interactions between the governing party and Pokrovsky Riazanov.