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Luhansk Residents Ordered to Set Clocks to Moscow Time, Turning Back on Ukraine

Residents of the the eastern Ukrainian separatist region of Luhansk have been ordered to set their clock to Moscow time.

The head of the rebel-held Luhansk People's Republic has issued an order to sync the eastern Ukrainian region's clocks with Moscow this weekend, when both Ukraine and Russia switch to winter time.

Clocks in Luhansk, which along with the rest of Ukraine run one hour behind western Russia, are to be set to the Moscow time zone at 3 a.m. on Sunday — the day of the country's first parliamentary election since the ousting of a Kremlin-backed government in February — the region's separatist chief Igor Plotnitsky said in a decree posted on the separatist administration's website.

When Russia and Ukraine roll their clocks back one hour on Sunday, Luhansk separatists should skip the adjustment, putting them in the same time zone as Moscow, Plotnitsky said in the order signed Wednesday.

The order said that "all government bodies, enterprises and citizens of the Luhansk People's Republic" should be notified of the time zone switch, and assigned separatist premier Hennadiy Tsypkalov to ensure the ruling was implemented.

Russians will stay on permanent winter time starting Sunday, after an initiative by then-President Dmitry Medvedev in 2011 that saw clocks being moved forward in March, but not put back in the fall, was reversed earlier this year.

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