This two‐part overview of contemporary Russian anthropology focuses in detail on the work of several scholars and situates it in the changing landscape of Russian academia. The main issue I address is debates about an academic identity of Russian anthropology as ‘historical science’. Given that in Western anthropology, history has become one of the leading modes of anthropological analysis and that the turn to history marked a radical repositioning of anthropology's very subject, it is important to explore how such configurations of history and anthropology work in other anthropological traditions and what the reasons are for turning to history or, conversely, avoiding it, for specific national, continental and transnational anthropological schools. In this article, I explore these questions by focusing on anthropology in Russia with an aim of reassembling the relationship between anthropology and history from the point of view of the anthropology of time. I ask what temporal frameworks underscore the relationship between anthropology and history. I explore these understandings ethnographically, that is, through ethnographic interviews with Russian scholars in addition to close readings of their works.