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Believe it or not, several countries in the world cover more than one time zone, and Russia is one of them.
There are 11 Russian time zones which currently observe times ranging from UTC+02:00 to UTC+12:00. Since 24 October, 2014, there’s no daylight saving time anymore in Russia.
For example, when the eastern part of the country is in the middle of a working day, the western part is in a deep sleep.
Although the country lives through different time zones, the official language they are using is one - the Russian language. So no matter if you happen to be in St.Petersburg, or another part of the country in Vladivostok, if you want to speak with the locals, you need to learn Russian.
A hundred and fifty years ago, there were no time zones, and cities established ‘local solar times.’ It means that midday comes when the Sun is in its zenith.
In Russia, to be more precise, the Russian Empire at that time, all railroads used the St. Petersburg time zone for all schedules.
In 1919, after the Bolshevik revolution, the country established and started to use 11 different time zones.
In 2009, Russia decided to reduce time zones from 11 to nine. Then again, in 2014, they changed their mind, so established 11 time zones once again.
With 11 different time zones, Russia takes second place as the country with the most time zones. Third place is shared by the USA and Canada with six different time zones.
After several switches to daylight saving time, Russians complained that, with so many different time zones, switching to summertime every year affects their health, so from 2014, Russia does not use daylight saving time.
Today, time zones that are used in Russia are:
Kaliningrad: GMT+02:00, EST +07:00
Moscow, St, Petersburg: GMT+03:00, EST +08:00
Samara: GMT+04:00, EST +09:00
Yekaterinburg: GMT+05:00, EST +10:00
Omsk: GMT+06:00, EST +11:00
Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk: GMT+07:00, EST +12:00
Irkutsk: GMT+08:00, EST +13:00
Yakutsk: GMT+09:00, EST +14:00
Vladivostok: GMT+10:00, EST +15:00
Srednekolymsk: GMT+11:00, EST +16:00
Kamchatka: GMT+12:00, EST +17:00
In other words, the Kaliningrad time zone covers the Kaliningrad region, which is two hours forward to the UTC. This region is placed on the coast of the Baltic Sea.
This time zone covers the city of Moscow, the capital city of Russia, and the European part of the country. It is UTC+3 hours.
This time zone covers regions of Astrakhan, Samara, Ulyanovsk, Saratov regions, and the Udmurt Republic. This time zone goes four hours forward from the UTC.
To make it easier for the ones who count time zones according to the UTC, this time zone is five hours ahead of the UTC. It covers several regions, as Bashkortostan, the Perm Territory, Kurgan, Orenburg, Sverdlovsk, Tyumen, and Chelyabinsk region. The Khanty-Mansi and the Yamal-Nenets autonomous areas also measure their time with the Yekaterinburg time zone.
Omsk Region, or in Russian, О́мская о́бласть (Omskaya oblast), covers UTC+6. OMST is located between the Tyumen region in the north and west, Novosibirsk in the east, and Kazakhstan in the south.
The Krasnoyarsk time zone (KRAT) is seven hours ahead of the UTC and covers the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Altay, Tyva, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk and Tomsk regions.
Irkutsk region is located in the southeast of Siberia and, even though it is quite cold over there, if you plan to visit it, it is worth it. However, have in mind that the Irkutsk time zone, which covers this region and Buryatia, goes eight hours ahead of the UTC.
Shortly YAKT, this time zone is nine hours forward of the UTC. The Yakutia, Transbaikal Territory, and Amur Region.s are under this time.
Ten hours ahead of the UTC, Vladivostok time zone(VLAT) covers central Yakutia, which is located in The Republic of Yakutia or also known as the Sakha Republic and the Maritime (Primorsky) Territory.
Magadan Time zone (MAGT) is UTC+11 hours. Since the Yakutia region is quite large, this time zone covers eastern Yakutia, the Magadan, and the largest island of the Russian Federation, the Sakhalin region.
Kamchatka region is famous for its volcanoes and the most eastern city in the northern hemisphere, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. This time zone, shortly PETT, is 12 hours forward to UTC is local time in this region, as well as the Chukotka autonomous area.
There are many fun things you can see in Russia, learn many words and phrases, even curse words in Russian, hear Russian fairy tales, and listen about the history and rich culture, feel the cold but still enjoy it.
It’s also entertaining when you have the chance to visit or stay some time in the country with 11 different time zones.
Because of that, we want to give you some of the fun facts about time zones in Russia.
Russia’s favorite holiday is New Year. You might be guessing why. People celebrate New Year twice; Once according to their local time, and once more, according to Moscow time.
Most Russian regions are under one time zone. However, there is one region that covers even three. It is The Republic of Yakutia or in another name Sakha Republic. The region of Bashkir, which is next to Sakha, covers two time zones.
When the Sun rises in Moscow, in the Far East, people are preparing to go to sleep.
Until 2018, you could buy a train ticket for every place with Moscow Time. However, that has changed, so now you can buy railroad tickets in local time.
Believe it or not, time zones in Russia are constantly moving. The last move was in 2018 when the Volgograd region, which switched from Moscow to Samara time.
The time difference between Moscow and Kamchatka time zone is nine hours.
People in Russia refer to Moscow time rather than the UTC, so they often label their time zone as MSK+1, MSK+2, and so on.
We hope that now that you understand how many Russian time zones are there, that you’ll be prepared to travel to Russia one day.
This article’s main purpose is to keep you informed and ready if you plan to visit Russia from St. Petersburg to the Kamchatka region, spend more time over there living and working. Or you can just wait for the New Year and celebrate not twice, but three times - twice just like Russians do, and once more according to your local time.
Russia has 11 time zones.
France. It has 12 time zones (including its oversea territories)
Because their government decided to change to 11 time zones in 1949.
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