Residents of the Kremlin-controlled areas of four Ukrainian regions will soon have to put their clocks forward by an hour as their time zone switches to Moscow time, Russia’s Trade and Industry Ministry announced on Friday.
The move, which affects the Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine, is part of what the ministry calls the “gradual alignment” of regional legislation with that of the Russian Federation.
Moscow has been claiming that the four Ukrainian regions are legally Russian territory following a series of hurriedly held referendums in September that were widely condemned as a sham by the international community.
In October, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the accession of all four Ukrainian regions into law.
A bill mandating the change of time zone has already been introduced to Russia’s State Duma, according to the ministry statement.
Until their partial occupation by Russian forces, all four regions observed Eastern European time in alignment with Kyiv.