On October 9th, Deputy Speaker of Ukrainian Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk, a representative of the Servant of the People – President Volodymyr Zelensky’s party proposed to cancel daylight savings in Ukraine, in order to somehow fight “Russian aggression.”
This idea has been circulating in Ukraine and Europe for almost the last ten years. Many Ukrainian politicians have come forward with proposals to live at the same time, without adjustments twice a year.
Stefanchuk’s proposal differs from their ideas in that for him it is not just an applied issue of organizing work or health – he wants to “resist aggression from the Russian Federation.”
In review, the politician’s initiative is the following and at “what time” Ukrainians will live if his bill is implemented. As it turned out, there are several options.
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk introduced a bill proposing to cancel the transition to summer time in Ukraine.
The key rationale for the politician is that he wants to resist “Russian aggression” and promote the de-occupation of territories.
It is not clear exactly how. But, logically, this can be done if Kiev is synchronized with the time by which they live in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. Both of these regions follow Moscow time, while in Russia the arrows have not been subject to daylights savings since 2011.
As a result, in summer Ukraine and Russia (plus Crimea and Eastern Ukraine) have the same time. And in winter – from late October to late March – the time is different, there is one hour more.
That is, if the fight against aggression according to Stefanchuk is a combination of Ukrainian time with Eastern Ukraine and Crimean time, the speaker wishes to synchronize Ukraine with Moscow time, for some reason.
After the publication of his initiative, Stefanchuk explained its meaning to outlet “Strana”.
“The bill does not indicate what time it is proposed to cancel: summer or winter. It only states that there will be no seasonal change. Similarly, the European Parliament does not have a single decision,” Stefanchuk told us.
But, according to him, the overwhelming majority of countries refuse summer time and leave winter time, in accordance with the international time zone.
“Therefore, the bill leaves room for maneuver,” says Stefanchuk.
“If a decision is made to leave the winter time, then the draft law must be voted on at this session, and if the summer time, then at the next. The draft law is structured in such a way that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has the opportunity to make an appropriate decision. The fundamental point is that the seasonal change of time should be stopped in Ukraine,” the deputy speaker said.
If Stefanchuk suggests that throughout Ukraine, including, of course, Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, there is always one time – Kiev, then it will be identical to the current Moscow time. And this in the foreseeable future can be implemented in two ways:
- Do not change the clock in Ukraine in October 2020 and henceforth. That is, to stay in summer time – the same as in Donetsk, Lugansk, Simferopol and Moscow.
- Put the clocks back in October 2020, then again in March 2021, and no longer move them.
In March 2019, the European Parliament approved the waiver of daylight savings. In Strasbourg, it was decided that the last time the clock hands in the European Union would be transferred in March 2021, not all countries signed up for it.
- The last option is to change the clock this fall, but not next spring. If this happens – Ukraine will have the same time as the EU, and not Moscow.
True, in this case it is not clear how the authorities will synchronize with the Eastern Ukraine and, finally, fight against “Russian aggression.” But, perhaps, in Kiev they will decide that they are imposing a new time on uncontrolled territories. Whatever that means.
The last time they undertook to completely abolish the transfer of clocks in Ukraine was in 2011, in parallel with similar work in the State Duma of the Russian Federation, when Viktor Yanukovych was president. However, then the opposition did not allow the adoption of the law. As arguments, they cited the fact that in this way Ukraine acts to please Russia in order to coincide with it in time.
Politics aside, Stefanchuk’s idea is quite likely a sensible one. But its rationale – the fight against aggression by manipulating what time the clock shows – has caused mixed feelings on the web.
After all, the premier reason for this is the following:
“As you know, in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, the illegal time of the aggressor state – the Russian Federation. The consolidation of the uniform Moscow time throughout Ukraine will strengthen our defensive positions and will contribute to the de-occupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territories.”
Under the same pretext of fighting the ‘Russian aggression’, the Ukrainian government has been violating rights of the Russian-speaking population (a major part of the citizens), ethnic Russians and even fighting the canonic Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate). After creating the pseudo-church organization to fight the ‘Russian-linked church’, and de-facto banning the usage of Russian language in multiple spheres, the Ukrainian authorities seem to be ready to push even further and even abandon the ‘time zone’ of the aggressor. In this case, it’s possible to propose the Ukrainian government to consider switching to the Washington time. So, they will become ‘closer’ to their real masters.
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