Because of its vast size, there is no single Russia Time Zone.
Instead, time in Russia is spread across nine time zones, ranging from two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in the Western enclave of Kaliningrad to eleven hours ahead of GMT in the Far East of Magadan.
As you can imagine, this proliferation of time zones causes problems both for Russia itself and for travelers to Russia – particularly those journeying across the country on the trans-Siberian railway.
What time is it in Russia right now?
In order to allow you to easily find out the time in Russia now, you can use our clock of Russia time zones. To use it, simply hover your mouse over the region of Russia that you are interested in, and the current time will be displayed below.
Using this tool you can easily tell what the current time in Moscow is, and what the time in St Petersburg, or any other major Russian city.
Map of Russia Time Zones
If you’d like an easy to view graphical representation, then you can use the static map below to see the full extent of Russia’s different time zones.
History of Time in Russia
Time in the Russian Empire was measured in a rather haphazard way until, as in so many other countries, the arrival of the railroad in the late 19th Century and the need to standardise time to allow for smooth running of timetabled services led to the introduction of more sophisticated measuring of time.
Moscow Time was introduced first, at GMT+2.30, and other time zones were gradually introduced across the country. Russian railway time was standardised across the country, however, and remained always set at Moscow Local Time. British journalist John Foster Fraser traveled across Russia by train in 1911, and here he records his thoughts on Russian railway time:
“To keep things in order, however, the railway authorities ignore the sun, and keep Petersburg time. So in Eastern Siberia, when the sun is setting, the station clock will indicate lunch time.”
(Note: Petersburg time was what railway time was called when the Russian capital was in St Petersburg.)
At their peak, between 2002 and 2010, there were 11 time zones in Russia. However, in an attempt to simplify the matter, this was reduced to just nine time zones in 2010. The Russian Government is thought to want to reduce the number of time zones still further – there have been some claims that it would like to reduce the number to just four – but this has met with opposition, particularly in the far east and Siberia.
The latest change to Russian time was the abolition of daylight savings time in March 2011. Introduced in 1917, after the Bolshevik Revolution, but has been eliminated by President Dmitry Medvedev’s government to address health problems that it is believed are caused by DST.