Two Hours Short

As of today Russia occupies nine time zones, ranging from UTC+03 to UTC+12 - two zones less than yesterday. The furthest from Moscow are, eight hours ahead of Moscow time, Kamchatka, Magadan and Sakhalin.

The country extends 171°21’ longitudinally, or approximately 11.4 hours according to 'solar time' – a matter of concealed pride for many Russians. In November 2009 President Dmitry Medvedev proposed to reduce the number of time zones: ‘We’ve got used to being proud [of the number of time zones], but we should stop and think, isn’t it too expensive?’

So now Russia is divided into Kaliningrad (UTC+3), Moscow (UTC+04), Yekaterinburg (UTC+6), Omsk (UTC+7), Krasnoyarsk (UTC+8), Irkutsk (UTC+9), Yakutsk (UTC+10), Vladivostok (UTC+11) and Magadan (UTC+12) time zones.

Time zones in Russia came in after the October Revolution of 1917. Astronomer Otto Struve, who represented the Russian Empire at the International Meridian Conference in Washington in 1884, had a negative view of the idea of universal time zones and the Russian government did not join the international system.

In 1919, the Council of People's Commissars divided the country into 11 time zones mostly by the meridians. Subsequently, these boundaries were revised taking into account local topography and administrative borders.

On June 9, 2011 President Dmitry Medvedev signed the Federal Law ‘On Time Keeping’ which introduced the term ‘time zone’ instead of ‘time belt’.