Moscow time zone in the occupied Ukrainian territories

Photo: EPA-EFE / STR

The Kremlin announced today that it will begin imposing the Moscow time zone in parts of Ukraine that are illegally annexed and partially controlled by Russian forces.

The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade announced the news on its Telegram channel, saying that the four regions of Ukraine annexed by Russia - Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia - "will switch to Moscow time".

Four Ukrainian regions were illegally annexed by the Russian president Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin in the fall of 2022, after the implementation of what most of the international community qualifies as "fake" referendums. Russia does not fully control any region, and Western governments have deemed the move illegitimate.

"Gradual synchronization of Russian legislation is underway after four new entities were admitted to the country," the Russian ministry said. "In the near future, DPR (self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic), LPR (self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic), Zaporozhye and Kherson region will be part of another time zone, in which Moscow time operates.

The time zone in Moscow is one hour ahead of Eastern European Standard Time, which is in effect throughout Ukraine.

The ministry added that they have submitted a draft law on the matter to the Russian State Duma and it has yet to be signed.

Russia already did this in Crimea, when Putin annexed the peninsula in 2014. In March 2014, Crimea's time zone was officially aligned with that of Moscow, putting the entire peninsula one hour ahead of Ukraine.

The move comes weeks after Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the territory's integration process was in "full swing." –

"Ensuring the safety of civilians living there is the main goal of the operation," Peskov said.

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