Abolishing a 30-year tradition, Russia will turn forward its clocks for one last time early on Sunday morning, following a presidential decree not to switch to daylight saving time in October.
President Dmitry Medvedev first mentioned the idea of rescinding daylight saving during his address to the Federal Assembly in 2009. Then last February he announced his final decision to move forward with the plan, suggesting that “the need to adapt [to the time change] is connected with stress and illnesses.”
“Indeed we have gotten used to changing our clocks every spring and autumn and have gotten in the habit of resenting it, because it really disturbs the human biorhythm,” Medvedev explained. “Everyone either gets annoyed by it, sleeps through it or wakes up too early and doesn’t know what to with the extra hour. Not to mention the poor cows and other cattle that don’t understand the time change and why dairy-maids come too early.”
Medvedev backed his claims citing scientific studies that showed that daylight saving put an unnecessary strain on public health, though some experts still find the reasoning dubious.
The Deputy Head of Russia’s Metrology Agency, Vladimir Krutikov, even suggested that it is likely Russia will change its mind.
“Starting in 1916, countries have, in some way, been ‘experimenting’ with time and I think the process is likely to continue,” RIA Novosti agency cited Krutikov as saying.
Currently some 82 countries observe daylight saving, including most of the US and the entire EU, though many of them have considered abolishing the tradition. In the meantime, Russia’s time difference vis-à-vis these countries will vary with the season.