Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Map of the Week- Russia's Time Zones

President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia, in a recent speech, suggested reducing the number of time zones in Russia. A recent BBC article titled "Changing Times in Russia" highlights the difficulties of governing a country that has 11 time zones.

Businesses along the Amur River, across from China have a very short time window in which to be in contact with Moscow during normal working hours. Much of that region's economy has stronger economic ties to China, being closer not only geographically but temporally. The region could possibly improve ties to western Russia and Europe by changing their clocks to be in a closer time zone. 

China, despite spanning five time zones has adopted one time zone for the entire country. Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau also use this same time zone. Russia is much too big and would more likely combine several of the time zones on the map above. The BBC article did not list any specifics from Medvedev 's speech but according to Georgian Daily he has proposed cutting the number of time zones to four.

Russia's 11 time zones are a source of pride for many, showing how large the country is and resistance to the plan is expected. A quote from a skeptical scholar of the plan via the Georgian Daily article:
Moscow can cut the number of time zones but it can’t change the shape of the earth or the speed of its rotation relative to the sun.
At least we hope they can't. They do have nukes!
Here is a list of the time zones:

Kalningrad:   UTC (aka GMT) + 2
Moscow:   UTC + 3
Samara:   UTC + 4
Yekaterinburg:   UTC + 5
Omsk:   UTC + 6
Krasnoyarsk:   UTC +7
Irkutsk:   UTC +8 - this is China's time zone
Yakutsk:   UTC +9
Vladivostok:   UTC +10
Magadan:   UTC +11
Kamchatka:   UTC + 12


Dan said...

This is an awesome article. I'm a travel blogger, and we should definitely included more map-related stuff. This is the kind of thing that combines mapping and travel. Keep up the good work!

Michael5000 said...

That GMT+4 zone sure doesn't seem worth the hassle. GMT+6 seems like it could be folded in with +5 without too much hassle. And hell, you could bring GMT+11 and +12 in with GMT+10, and who would even notice? I mean, besides the caribou and Sara Palin?

OneLifeLiveIt said...

Love the blog.This gives you an idea of how big Russia is.

Dug said...

Thanks all for the encouragement. Michael5000 for time czar!