27 Oct 2014

Russia's clocks put back permanently

3:27 pm on 27 October 2014

Just three years after Russia wound on its clocks to permanent summer time, the country is abandoning the unpopular decision.

Instead, President Vladimir Putin on Sunday switched the entire country to permanent winter time and back to its full complement of 11 time zones, from the Pacific to the borders of the European Union.

Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: AFP / Ria Novosti

For the past three years, Russia experimented with keeping permanent summer time, but it proved to be highly unpopular with many Russians who didn't like the dark mornings.

The Soviet Union introduced Daylight Saving Time in 1981, the BBC reports.

In 2011, then President Dmitry Medvedev introduced measures to reduce Russia's time zones to nine, and to keep summer time all year round.

Russians put their clocks forward one hour but did not put them back in winter time.

Changing times in the seasons disrupted people's biorhythms and even upset cows, Mr Medvedev said.

However, many Russians in the north complained about darker mornings in winter.

At a news conference in Moscow, representatives of the Russian Academy of Sciences said that Europe would now be closer as the difference between the capital and Greenwich Mean Time would only be three hours.

When Crimea was annexed by Russia from Ukraine in March this year, Crimea's time was adjusted to match Moscow time (GMT +4).