Russian clocks go back for last time

A woman looks at clocks of the Russian time zones Image copyright ITAR-TASS
Image caption There will now be 11 time zones in Russia, up from nine zones established by previous president Medvedev

Russia will turn back its clocks for the last time on Sunday to permanently adopt winter hours.

It will also increase its time zones from nine to 11, from the Pacific to the borders of the European Union.

For the past three years, Russia has experimented with keeping permanent summer time, but it proved to be highly unpopular with many Russians.

The Soviet Union introduced Daylight Saving Time in 1981.

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.

The deputy director of the Geography Institute, Arkady Tishkov, said he was against the latest change because he believed it was carried out to please advertisers as it would result in, he believes, more people watching television.

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

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