March 29, 2010 in Nation/World

Russia cuts two time zones

Jim Heintz Associated Press

MOSCOW – Russia’s president thought the country had too much time on its hands, so on Sunday he eliminated two of its 11 time zones.

The changes mean that Chukotka – Russia’s eastern extreme, just across the Bering Strait from Alaska – is now nine hours ahead of Russia’s westernmost area, the Kaliningrad exclave sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland. Formerly, there was 10 hours’ difference.

As well as eliminating the time zone that previously covered the Chukotka and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky regions in the Pacific Far East, President Dmitry Medvedev ordered that Samara and Udmurtia, two regions in central Russia, should be on the same time as Moscow.

The changes went into effect before dawn Sunday when most of Russia switched to daylight saving time. People in the eliminated time zones didn’t move their clocks an hour ahead.

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