“Winter Time Will Not Return Until Spring”

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 10 2012 @ 8:24am

Masha Gessen recounts the strange story of daylight savings time in Russia:

In the fall of 2011, as he was nearing the end of his fantastically undistinguished four-year term, then president Dmitri Medvedev finally took decisive action: He abolished two of Russia’s 11 time zones and canceled the biennial change from winter time to summer time and back. …

As a collector of clocks and watches, I’m not particularly fond of the twice-yearly change. The problem is, Medvedev stopped the clock in early autumn, while the country was still on summer time, or daylight saving time. That froze it one hour ahead of Russia’s standard time, which, in turn, in much of the country was an hour ahead of its astronomical time. So last winter the sun began rising after 9 a.m.; adults were already at work and children at school by the time daylight established itself. And it was dark when they left their respective buildings, not having seen the light all day.

A bill to restore daylight savings was proposed in the Duma, but Putin kicked the decision back to Medvedev, who did not appear eager to fix his own mess. The bill subsequently has been withdrawn.