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Time in Russia: What is the time difference? How many time-zones are there in Russia?

Russia is one of the largest nations in the world and has the amount of time-zones to match.

Satellite image of the Kursk training area
Maxar TechnologiesReuters

Russia has an astonishing 11 time zones stretching across its borders. The closest to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is Kaliningrad time in the Kaliningrad Oblast, at GMT +2 hours, while the furthest is Kamchatka time in the far east, at GMT +5 hours. For comparison, New York is GMT -5 hours.

Russia also removed Daylight Saving Time in 2014, meaning the country is permanently on summer Daylight Time.

In the past, Russia had an even wider expanse of time-zones, reaching from Congress Poland in the west to Alaska in the east at the end of the 19th century. Time zones existed from GMT +01:10 to GMT +15:10.

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How does this compare to other large nations?

The United States has nine standard time zones, with six used for the 50 states. US possessions have their own time zones stretching the whole length of possible time zones due to crossing the international date line. Between New York and Moscow there is an eight hour time zone difference.

China is a similarly large country, but has just the single time zone, GMT +8 hours. Daylight Saving Time has not been observed since 1991. Despite its size, 98 percent of the country falls between three time zones, making it just about feasible to follow just a single one. Most of the population centers fall within Beijing time, meaning the sparsely populated west is not accounted for.