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Crimea shifts to Moscow time in symbolic move

Ten p.m. in Crimea suddenly became midnight, as a crowd in Simferopol watched the railway station clock advance two hours to Moscow time.

By Ed Adamczyk
A view of the clock on the Spasskaya Tower in Kremlin in Moscow. The first clock was mounted in 1491, and the present Kremlin chimes were installed in 1851-1852 by the Butenop brothers. The diameter of the dial is 20 feet, the height of the numerals is 2 feet and the length of the hour hand is 9 feet, as is that of the minute hand. The tower is 219 feet high (232 feet with the star mounted in 1935). (File/UPI Photo/Anatoli Zhdanov) | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/1111f48ebbbfa560346812e9e2e33d70/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
A view of the clock on the Spasskaya Tower in Kremlin in Moscow. The first clock was mounted in 1491, and the present Kremlin chimes were installed in 1851-1852 by the Butenop brothers. The diameter of the dial is 20 feet, the height of the numerals is 2 feet and the length of the hour hand is 9 feet, as is that of the minute hand. The tower is 219 feet high (232 feet with the star mounted in 1935). (File/UPI Photo/Anatoli Zhdanov) | License Photo

Ten p.m. in Crimea suddenly became midnight, as a crowd in Simferopol watched the railway station clock advance two hours to Moscow time.

The event Saturday night meant Crimea and Moscow now share a time zone, a symbolic but important experience. In newly-acquired Crimea, Russia is controlling currency, paying government employees and controlling time. The change of clocks is indicative of Ukraine’s release of Crimea.

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Russia, a country spanning nine international time zones takes its time-keeping seriously. In 2011 it moved from a twice-yearly changing of the clocks, to accommodate daylight savings time, to a permanent summer time. Then-President Dmitry Medvedev justified the change, citing statistics indicating an increase in heart attacks and suicides in the period of time-changing.

It has confused laptop computers and other devices with automatic time-changing functions, and a law returning Russia to permanent winter time is under consideration in the state Duma.

A sudden, two-hour time shift in Crimea could still cause some confusion. The Crimean newspaper Krymskaya Gazeta warned the shift could lead to “health problems such as sleep disorder, apathy, depression and possible changes to the endocrine system.”

[Washington Post]

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