Time zones are regions that observe a uniform standard time for social, commercial, and legal reasons. They adhere to the borders on nations, since it is convenient for neighboring states to use the standard time for communication and business reasons. The time of a given region is defined by its offset from the UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). The offset is usually by hours or less than an hour in some few places like India (UTC+05:30) and Nepal (UTC+05:45). Russia, the largest country in the world by area, has 11 time zones.
History of Time Zones in Russia
Before the introduction of time zones in the country, every part of Russia had its solar time. The first time zone to be introduced in the country was the Moscow Mean Time (MSK) which was adopted around Moscow in 1880. According to their solar time, Moscow was about 2 hours, 30 minutes, and 17 seconds ahead of the UTC. During that time, Russia was using the Julian calendar; therefore they were 13 days behind all the other parts of Europe. They started using the Gregorian calendar in 1918. Other parts of Russia used their solar time until when the region was split into numerous time zones in 1919.
How Many Time Zones Does Russia Have?
Russia is ranked among the nations with the most time zones in the world right behind France with 12 time zones. Both the United States and Russia have the same number of time zones. Russia has 11 time zones, and it abolished Daylight Savings Time (DST) in 2011. Russia holds the record of the most time zones (10 time zones) in one contiguous region.
Time Zones In Russia
Kaliningrad Time (KALT)
Kaliningrad is an hour behind MSK and 2 hours ahead of the UTC (UTC+02:00). KALT is observed in Kaliningrad Oblast. The region’s time resembled the Eastern European Time with DST until 2011. The country introduced permanent DST on March 27, 2011, setting the region’s time at UTC+3. Russia reversed the law on October 26, 2014, but the DST was never reintroduced leaving KALT set to two hours in front of the UTC.
Moscow Time (MSK)
MSK is observed in Moscow and numerous other cities in western Russia like Saint Petersburg. MSK is the second-westernmost time zone in the country, and it was set to UTC+3 on October 26, 2014. MSK was four hours ahead of the UTC from March 27, 2011, to 2014 when the country abolished DST. The MSK is used to schedule ships and trains in the country while air travel uses the local time.
Samara Time (SAMT)
Samara time is an hour ahead of Moscow (MSK+1) and 4 hours in front of UTC (UTC+4). Areas like Saratov Oblast, Ulyanovsk, Astrakhan Oblast, Udmurtia, and Samara Oblast observe this time zone.
Yekaterinburg Time (YEKT)
YEKT is 2 hours in front of MSK and 5 hours ahead of the UTC. The country moved to DST and switched between UTC+6 in summer and UTC+5 during winter. YEKT was reset to UTC+5 in 2014. YEKT applies in Volga Federal District, Perm Krai, Orenburg Oblast, Bashkortostan, and Ural Federal District.
Other Time Zones in Russia
Other time zones include Vladivostok time, Irkutsk time, Omst time, Magadan time and Kamchatka time.